Saturday 22 July 2017

Nurses warn of all out strike in pay battle

Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Picture: Tom Burke
Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Picture: Tom Burke

Eilish O Regan

Nurses today warned they are ready to take all out strike action if their battle for pay parity is not met in upcoming talks.

The delegates at the annual meeting of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation voted overwhelmingly in favour of an emergency motion seeking a separate pay deal at the upcoming public service pay talks.

The nurses, who are gathered in Wexford, rose to their feet and applauded as general secretary Liam Doran urged them to be prepared for a national dispute if their bid for pay parity with other graduate entry health professional grades is not granted.

“If the call comes we will do whatever is needed,” he declared.

The conference was told the of growing anger and frustration of nurses of nurses who are paid 12pc to 15pc less than other comparable grades.

Sean Kelly of the Mullingar branch said: ”People who are cleaning floors are paid more than me.”

Another nurse she has to take home not just paperwork but psychological stress.

“Next we will take home patients,” she quipped.

The emergency motion said nurses want parity of esteem in terms of pay and working hours, with other professionally qualified public servants.

One student nurse said she has already been recruited by a UK hospital and will leave to take up work in January.

Mr Doran said there is a clear message to government: ”You have had it your way for far too long.”

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