Tuesday 17 October 2017

Industrial action will go ahead at one of Ireland's busiest hospitals on Wednesday

Cork University Hospital
Cork University Hospital
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Industrial action will proceed on Wednesday at one of Ireland's busiest hospitals in a row over staffing levels in oncology and radiotherapy departments.

Cork University Hospital (CUH) will see a work to rule by Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) members after last ditch talks aimed at avoiding the dispute failed to achieve an agreement.

The row revolves around staffing levels with the INMO demanding a specific time frame for a staffing level of 27 to be reached in the sections as recommended by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

The work to rule will involve CUH's 22 nursing staff in the two departments focusing entirely on patient care duties.

Staff will withdraw from all other clerical and support duties until the dispute is resolved.

A total of seven positions including ward nurses and care assistants are currently to be filled in the CUH sections.

The South-South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and CUH management said they were "extremely disappointed" at the INMO decision.

"We consider this action to be entirely disproportionate and unwarranted given the comprehensive recruitment campaign undertaken by hospital management which has resulted in excess of 100 appointments to the grade of staff nurse at CUH in the last twelve months," a spokesperson said.

"Consistent with the agreements reached, the measures implemented to-date include a focused recruitment campaign for nursing grades to include a clinical skills facilitator and health care assistants, retention of graduate nurses, conversion of agency to directly employed staff and Management support to existing nursing staff to participate in a specialised Higher Diploma programme."

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