Nurses to begin industrial action in March after rejecting 'totally inadequate' HSE proposals

Nurses are to take industrial action next month after talks with the HSE and Department of Health over the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives failed to come up with a resolution.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said they rejected the proposals put forward today by the HSE as being "totally inadequate".

The INMO said they will now serve notice of action starting on Tuesday, March 7.

Up to 90% of INMO members voted in favour of action just before Christmas, which will take the form of a work-to-rule, resulting in a ban on overtime, cross cover and redeployment.

Nurses will also begin a series of rolling stoppages if the dispute is not resolved.

INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly, said: "In considering the proposals, Executive Council members presented numerous examples of nurses and midwives unable to provide full care to their patients, working beyond the end of their shift without pay, unable to take meal breaks and facing unmanageable workloads because of the appalling conditions, and inadequate staffing they now face every day."

They said they considered the proposals as "completely inadequate" in terms of recognising the reality of the workplace endured by nurses and midwives.

They also said the proposals on recruitment were "too little too late" and still not up to the level of that being offered in the private sector and in other countries.

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."

The Department of Health said: "Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, are deeply disappointed with the outcome of the INMO Executive Committee meeting this evening.

"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."

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