Nurses to defer planned strike for new ballot

Nurses to defer planned strike for new ballot

Nurses have decided to defer Thursday's strike so members can be balloted on revised proposals.

The HSE said earlier that hospital staff would see changes after new proposals to combat hospital overcrowding were agreed with the INMO this morning after 19 hours of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Nurses have been meeting this afternoon to see decide whether to call off their planned strke in seven hospitals this Thursday - Beaumont and Tallaght Hospital in Dublin, Cavan General, Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, Mercy University Hospital in Cork, University Hospital Waterford and University Hospital Galway.

Nurses had previously rejected HSE proposals to address the issue, citing a lack of confidence that the measures would reduce emergency department overcrowding.

General Secretary of the INMO Liam Doran said nurses wanted to see action immediately.

"In deferring and in commencing an information and balloting session, we're also saying very loudly to senior management in the HSE that they must now implement every line of these new proposals, starting tomorrow," he said.

The INMO said the agreed proposals provided for:

- Senior management weekly meetings, with INMO Emergency Department Representatives, to monitor implementation of the agreement and, in particular, the revised escalation policy to avoid ED overcrowding;

- Enhanced health/safety and risk management/mitigation measures which clearly acknowledge that Emergency Department overcrowding "leads to an unsafe work environment which must be addressed and mitigated".

The Minister for Health says he is pleased that the WRC's revised proposals have been accepted by the INMO National Executive.

In a statement issued this evening, Leo Varadkar says "the interests of patients are always best served through negotiation and by avoiding industrial action".

Minister Varadkar says he also welcomes the fact that the proposals contain specific measures to enhance patient safety and delivery of care.


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