'I will struggle to pay the mortgage but I had to make a stand,' says midwife on strike at Coombe

'I will struggle to pay the mortgage but I had to make a stand,' says midwife on strike at Coombe
Grace Cuthbert from Straffan during the nurses' strike at the Coombe Hospital, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

“We are losing pay because of the industrial dispute and that is not going to be easy but we have to wade through this."

That was the view of Nicole Menton, who works as a midwife sonographer at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin.

Nicole, who grew up in Dublin but is now living in Naas, Co Kildare said it was not all about money.

“I don't think anyone did nursing for the money but, at this stage, it is all about keeping our younger nurses here.”

Nicole hopes the dispute is resolved soon but she was not so sure. “I had thought it would not go to this stage but here we are.”

Brid Shine, a bereavement midwife at the Coombe Hospital, is originally from Listowel, Co Kerry.

“I think the strike is so much more than pay for midwives,” she said.

We are losing midwives at an awful rate. We now have our young midwives leaving the hospital and we are really short-staffed all the time.

When she goes on duty in the morning she often meets young midwives who are crying because they feel they were not able to provide adequate care to their patients.

“We can't continue like that,” said Brid.

"I will not be paid because I am on the picket line and will struggle to pay the mortgage and other bills but I had to make a stand."

Fiona Walsh, a community midwife at the Coombe Hospital and originally from Blackrock, Cork, said “We are totally frustrated. We don't have enough midwives to give the care that we want to give.”

“I am rostered to work today (Thurs) but I won't get paid because I am on picket duty.”

Fiona hopes the dispute does not continue into next week but she is not optimistic that there will be a resolution any time soon.

“It is miserable for everybody on the picket line but we feel we have to be here because we are so short-staffed all the time,” she said.

“If management doesn't have the staff, what can they do? They can't do anything about it. That's the problem.”

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