NURSES STRIKE

Over 1,400 Louth nurses due to strike at end of month

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

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Some 37,000 nurses belonging to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, including approximately 1,400 INMO-affiliated members in Louth, will strike across the country for 24 hours on January 30.

The strike will see INMO members withdraw their labour for one day, providing only lifesaving care and emergency response teams. And if the dispute goes unresolved INMO members have warned there will be further 24-hour strikes on 5 and 7 of February, and then the 12, 13 and 14.

A spokesperson for the INMO said: “The dispute centres on safe staffing in the public health service. The HSE has not been able to recruit and retain enough nurses and midwives on current wages.

“The number of staff nurses fell by 1,754 (6%) between 2008 and 2018, despite an ageing, growing population making the health service busier.”

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Going on strike is the last thing a nurse or midwife wants to do. But the crisis in recruitment and retention has made it impossible for us to do our jobs properly. We're not able give patients the care they deserve under these conditions.

“We're calling on the public to support us. Nurses and midwives are always there for you when you need help. Now we need your help.”

Local Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said: “We (Sinn Féin) met with INMO North East representative David Miskell before Christmas and will arrange another meeting soon. We hope that the Government listen to the concerns of the INMO regarding staffing and rentention issues. It's an issue that really needs to be looked at.”  

The Psychiatric Nurses Association has  also announced that some 6,000 of their members will strike in February following a dispute over pay and staff shortages. 

The psychiatric nurses say they will refuse to work overtime on 31 January and 1, 5, 6 and 7 February and plan to escalate their industrial action to full strikes on 12, 13, and 14 February if their demands are not met.