A work-to-rule industrial action at University Maternity Hospital Limerick is being threatened, following the breakdown of talks over staffing levels between management and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
The talks had been taking place under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
The INMO claim current staffing levels at the hospital compromise the care of mothers and babies.
However, Margaret Gleeson, chief director of nursing and midwifery in the UL Hospitals Group, said: “This is an unnecessary and untimely action by the INMO. It comes at a time when the union is actively engaged at a national level in the National Birthrate Plus Workforce Planning group established by the Minister for Health.
“As chief director of Nursing and Midwifery, I again appeal to the union to await the outcome of the National Birthrate Plus process in which it is engaged.”
She said no disagreement exists between UL Hospitals Group and the INMO in that more midwives are required at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
Meanwhile, an INMO spokesperson said the results of a ballot of both its members and a number of Siptu members will be known early today.
Up to 180 people have reportedly been balloted. The union spokesperson said members had been asked to consider the option of a work-to-rule.
Ms Gleeson said: “Where we have been unable to reach agreement is on the levels required and UL Hospitals is disappointed that the conciliation talks have not resulted in a resolution.”
They reject any assertion or suggestion that care of mothers and babies is being compromised due to staffing levels.
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