Nurses to ‘dig in for long haul’ with two further strike days

Nurses to ‘dig in for long haul’ with two further strike days
INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha

The Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) has said nurses must be prepared “to dig in for the long haul”, ahead of two further days of strikes this week.

More than 30,000 members of the INMO will take to the picket lines again tomorrow and Thursday, when further services will be brought into the strike.

The number of services affected has been increased from 80 to 240, with respite services in intellectual disability and care of the elderly now included.

The INMO announced two additional strike dates at the weekend — February 19 and 21, in addition to February 5 and 7, and February 12, 13 and 14.

“The fight to achieve parity of esteem with our peer group of degree-level health professionals is difficult and challenging and we must be prepared to dig in for the long haul,” said INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha. 

“Next Tuesday and Thursday (Feb 5 and 7) we will repeat the 24-hour strikes unless the Government come to the table and provide a negotiating platform from which a solution can be achieved,” she said.

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said the national rally to be held on Saturday in Dublin is to show the Government that the public stood with them.

“We know from polls that 74% of the public support our strike,” she said.

She also hit out at the Government for not engaging directly with them.

Ministers regularly say in the media that they are available for talks, but the Government has still not taken any initiative to resolve this dispute.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 6,000 nurse members will not be available to work overtime on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and plan to strike over three days next week.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the pay issue could be looked at again, but he was not convinced it would produce a different outcome.

Mr Varadkar said the nurses had “technically” breached the public service stability agreement by going on strike, but the Government was not planning to sanction them.

“The sense we have in Government is that it would make it provocative and make it harder to resolve this dispute,” he said on RTÉ radio.

“At a certain point, we will have to treat the nurses the same as we treated the secondary school teachers. It would not be fair to treat the secondary school teachers differently than the nurses.”

Mr Varadkar said he knew that the nurses had enormous public support and did not think that support would diminish over the next couple of weeks, so the Government wanted a resolution.

“We have, through the Public Pay Commission, already examined nursing and midwifery pay and yes, we can do so again — but I am not convinced it will produce a different outcome,” he said.

The HSE has warned that all out-patient, in-patient and day surgery appointments will be cancelled if tomorrow’s industrial action goes ahead.

A spokesperson for the HSE said it remained available to engage in any efforts to avert industrial action.

“We are continuing to engage with the INMO to put in place arrangements for the safe provision of services in advance of Tuesday’s strike.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of General Practitioners has warned there may be “limited access” to GP services on Wednesday when hundreds of GPs protest outside the Dáil over cuts to the sector.

More on this topic

Three in five nurses vote to accept Labour Court proposalsThree in five nurses vote to accept Labour Court proposals

Majority of nurses see contract as ‘good deal’Majority of nurses see contract as ‘good deal’

INMO recommends that members vote for Labour Court proposalsINMO recommends that members vote for Labour Court proposals

INMO warns nurses' strike has only been suspended, not called offINMO warns nurses' strike has only been suspended, not called off

More in this Section

Canning HSE award less than legal costsCanning HSE award less than legal costs

Varadkar ‘cosying up’ with potential coalition partnersVaradkar ‘cosying up’ with potential coalition partners

TDs question rural broadband timelineTDs question rural broadband timeline

Sandwich board licence to cost €630 a yearSandwich board licence to cost €630 a year


Many of us will have experienced that super friendly cat who seems to love being stoked one minute, only to bite or swipe at us the next.How to stroke a cat, according to science

The band frontman has forayed into the world of seaweed with his best friend Dr Craig Rose. Ella Walker finds out more.Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs: ‘Seaweed ticks all the boxes of sustainability’

We’ve all had that feeling at some stage as we step off fast amusement park ride, or simply spin around for fun; that feeling of dizziness and disorientation and finding it difficult to stay upright. But why do we feel dizzy when we spin?Appliance Of Science: Why do we feel dizzy when we spin around?

Padraic Killeen reviews Epiphany from the Town Hall Theatre, Galway.Epiphany Review: Not a straightforward adaptation of Joyce’s scenario

More From The Irish Examiner