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Tuesday 25 June 2019

Nurses 'set to back strikes' in pay row

Dave Hughes, deputy general secretary of the INMO
Dave Hughes, deputy general secretary of the INMO

Anne-Marie Walsh

More than 40,000 nurses are expected to back industrial action in a ballot after rejecting a €20m government pay offer.

Ballots of members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are due to end this week and some sources are predicting an overwhelming vote in favour of strikes.

The INMO is due to meet members of the oversight body of the current public sector deal to discuss whether its dispute is a breach of the agreement.

The HSE believes its claim for equal pay with professionals, including radiographers and physiotherapists, in order to tackle recruitment and retention issues, is not covered by the deal.

"There's a very big turnout and whatever the result will be, a very definite view of nurses will be recorded," said deputy general secretary of the INMO, Dave Hughes.

He claimed a recent report of the government's pay body, the Public Service Pay Commission, was wrong to conclude there was no general recruitment crisis among nurses.

"The reason it was wrong is that it said it didn't get satisfactory information from employers in the first place," he said.

Meanwhile, paramedic members of the PNA are due to hold a one-day strike on Tuesday next week.

A total of 500 ambulance staff will take part in the industrial action after accusing the HSE of refusing to engage with the union's ambulance branch.

They claim it is refusing to deduct their union subscriptions from their pay.

Irish Independent

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