Thursday, 7 February 2019
Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements
I urge the Government to give up this attitude because it is not going to get anyone anywhere and it is not going to resolve the dispute. Does it accept that without pay on the negotiating table, this dispute cannot be resolved? Will the Ministers commit to making a telephone call because it is very easy to come in here and talk about patient safety? By the way, the Government's record on patient safety speaks for itself given waiting lists and every other issue, and the people in the Public Gallery know that. Will the Ministers give a commitment to pick up the phone to have a meaningful dialogue with Peter Hughes and Phil Ní Sheaghdha to ensure that this matter can be resolved because nothing is more certain than the fact that this will be resolved? No dispute goes on forever. Will the Ministers commit to picking up the telephone and talking to them? There is no sense in us coming in here and talking about this clause and that clause. I can go through that Public Service Stability Agreement with the Ministers and tell them where it can be resolved but the Ministers should talk to the people in the dispute instead of talking at them. Will the Ministers apologise for issuing that disrespectful press release that was patronising in tone and very disrespectful to the men and women who are on the picket line, not because they want to be but because the Ministers forced them to?