The South Belfast MLA was speaking after meeting the Royal College of Nursing, during which she reiterated her support for a better settlement for nurses in general.
“The headline issue is a small one per cent pay rise as recommended by the Pay Review Body, which I think is long overdue. Northern Ireland retains one the comparatively lowest-paid nursing workforces in Europe. However, recent reports and my discussions show the issues goes well beyond this.
“As much as anything, nurses need respect for what they do and what they sacrifice. There are numerous issues, from childcare to extra hours, which need to be addressed thoroughly and strategically.
“Of course it also defies belief there would be any delay from the two biggest parties in forming an Executive to address these issues immediately. With a mandate comes a responsibility, and one priority is a better deal for our nurses.”