Nurses felt they had 'no other option' but strike
Louth Senator Ged Nash shared his 'solidarity' with the INMO nurses who were on strike last week.
Speaking in the Seanad after he visited the picket lines in Dundalk and Drogheda, he said:
'To say that the determination of the nurses is very strong is not to put too fine a point on it. Those of us who have been involved in industrial action and the industrial relations process know that it is a big decision for any worker to withdraw his or her labour. There are implications, for example, lost income. For nurses in particular, who take their jobs and roles so seriously, it is a major decision to take.'
Senator Nash added: 'Unfortunately, the nurses in the INMO felt that they had no option other than to take action. They are involved in a legitimate trade dispute that unfortunately shows no sign of ending. However, I firmly believe that a way can be found within the parameters of the current public sector pay agreement to reach a negotiated settlement that would benefit the nurses without significantly impacting the integrity of the overall public sector pay agreement.
'It pains me to say it, but in the context of this and a range of other disputes, the Government has shown a tin ear in its approach to industrial relations. This issue can be fixed if the political will is there, but I do not detect that will. A way can be found through the current pay agreement to address the nurses' concerns while retaining the integrity of that agreement if imagination and lateral thinking are shown.'