SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has called for “hard-working” nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in Derry and throughout the North to receive an overdue pay increase.
Mr Durkan said he has been contacted by a number of nurses over recent weeks, who have highlighted that the deterioration in pay standards combined with increased pressures within the health service.
He said that the factors combined were having a negative impact on professional morale.
The Foyle MP has also co-sponsored a parliamentary motion at Westminster condemning the British government’s decision to reject the Independent Pay Review Body’s recommendation that all NHS staff receive a 1% cost of living pay increase.
He said: “I am deeply concerned that the deterioration in nursing pay standards combined with service stresses is having a negative impact on professional morale.
“The government has restricted pay rises for nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants for over four years.
“The projected ongoing flat pay freeze for hard pressed public servants especially in health and care services was one of my reasons for voting against the Budget.
“Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have also rightly highlighted the government inconsistency and cynicism in variously invoking and ignoring the Independent Pay Review Body.
“It is particularly invidious to conscript the Independent Pay Review Body to re-profile nursing pay and conditions as the source for funding policy changes to a seven day care model.”