Health Minister announces reimbursement of strike deductions for health workers
Health Minister Robin Swann has announced that pay deductions for industrial action by health service workers in late 2019 and early 2020 will be reimbursed.
The decision was agreed by the Executive yesterday.
The Minister said: “I have been clear that this matter needed Executive approval and I am pleased that my proposal was approved yesterday.
“This is a complex issue, involving legal considerations and the question of whether a precedent could be set for industrial action across many different workforces.
“These are, of course, unprecedented times with our health service workers facing unprecedented pressures.
“I have worked hard to find a way through these complexities. I informed Executive colleagues last week that a way forward was on its way and I am pleased that my recommendation on this matter was agreed by the Executive on Tuesday.
“My first priority on becoming Minister was to resolve the industrial action. That was swiftly achieved. I hope now we can all put that chapter behind us and keep working together on combatting Covid-19 and rebuilding our health service.”
The First Minister, Arlene Foster said: “We recognise the dedicated and selfless work of our wonderful healthcare staff, nurses and doctors in every health setting at all times, but particularly so in the long hard months of this pandemic.
“It is welcome that concerns over any unintended consequences have now been resolved.
“The critical work of our health and care staff is carried out day in, day out, and continues over the busy Christmas and New Year period.”
The deputy First Minister, Michelle O’Neill said: “I’m pleased that we now have a resolution that will see our nurses and healthcare staff reimbursed for the strike action they took. “Our health workers have been on the frontline in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. They have provided first class care in the most challenging of circumstances, and made huge personal sacrifices to look after our loved ones. “They have our heartfelt thanks and I hope that when they see their money reimbursed in their pay packets, they know just how much they are valued and respected.”