Saturday 24 March 2018

Nurses to carry out industrial action from early March

Photo: Getty (stock photo)
Photo: Getty (stock photo)
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Nurses have voted in favour of industrial action and will carry out a work-to-rule from Tuesday, March 7.

The executive council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) met today to consider proposals put forward by health service management on resolving the dispute are sufficient to warrant calling off its planned industrial action.

However, they will now go ahead with the planned industrial action, which could escalate to strikes.

In a statement, Minister Simon Harris and Minister Paschal Donohoe said they were "deeply disappointed" with the outcome.

"There will be no further comment at this time pending a meeting of the Lansdowne Road Agreement Oversight Group, which will take place tomorrow and where the issue of the consequences of the proposed industrial action by the INMO will be considered,"  the statement read.

INMO rejected the staffing, recruitment and retention proposals put forward today by the HSE, describing them as "totally inadequate."

INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran said:

"The clear message received from INMO members is that their workplaces are now unsafe and dangerously overcrowded. All areas are understaffed and the services are at breaking point which will require radical solutions to take the pressure off struggling nurses and midwives.

"We need to attract and retain nurses and midwives in sufficient numbers to provide safe care and the current proposals contain no adequate remedies for this."

Members of INMO's Executive Council discussed a management proposal to hire 1,200 extra nurses in a bid to resolve a dispute over staff shortages.

The number of nurses stood at 35,835 last year, or 32pc of the workforce, compared with 39,006 in 2007 despite significant population growth and a greater number of over-65s.

The INMO had complained that the process of hiring was tied up in bureaucracy.

It also said the government side refused to guarantee that sufficient funds would be made available to mean that all Irish-trained nurses and midwives that graduated last year and this would get jobs.

Nationwide action will commence on Tuesday, March 7.

The action will take the form of an immediate and continuous work to rule involving nurses and midwives working to contract resulting in a ban on overtime, cross cover and redeployment.

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