Living wage probe welcomed

Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy (right) with Health Minister Michelle O'Neill.
Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy (right) with Health Minister Michelle O'Neill.
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Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy (right) with Health Minister Michelle O’Neill.

The reforms will include the issue of adopting a living wage policy.

Councillor Duffy said: “Our health workers are the core of our health service. The contribution they make in challenging circumstances cannot be underestimated. As such we need to respect and listen to their concerns.

“The Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill has already begun this process in terms of not removing weekly and fortnightly payments to health staff.

“I welcome the Minister’s commitment that she will give serious consideration to the implementation of a real living wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation of £8.25, for our health and social care staff.”

The Minister’s recent remarks have also been welcomed by Kevin McAdam, Unite lead officer with responsibility for health.

He was speaking after new Health Minister Ms.O’Neill instructed her department to abandon plans to transfer weekly-paid health care workers to a monthly pay system:

“Proposals to enforce a move from weekly pay to monthly pay would have left large numbers of health care workers facing an unnecessary squeeze,” Mr McAdam has said.

“This is a victory for common sense and will be a relief for the many low paid health workers who would have put their finances in turmoil by such a transition. There was very widespread and deep opposition to this move being imposed from above.”

Mr McAdam added: “We express the hope that this heralds a different approach to her predecessor, one which holds health care staff in high regard.”