Hospital patients face disruption as nurses announce six days of strike action
HOSPITAL patients in Kilkenny face the threat of disruption as more than 40,000 nurses across the country are set to go on strike.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation today announced a series of six stoppages, beginning at the end of this month, unless the Government agrees to pay rises.
Nurses threatened to strike on January 30 for 24 hours. If the dispute is unresolved, further strikes will take place on February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14.
Nurses will strike for the 24-hour period, providing only lifesaving care and emergency response teams.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association, representing another 6,000 nurses, has said it will announce its strike dates on Thursday.
The unions say there is a recruitment and retention crisis among nurses and midwives fuelled by low wages.
They are seeking pay rises to bring nurses’ wages in line with other staff, including respiratory technicians, whose pay at €53,372 a year is €7,671 higher than a nurse’s €45,701 basic pay rate after 15 years.
However, Health Minister Simon Harris said he does not believe the nurses’ industrial action is warranted. He has called for greater engagement and for both sides to work to find a resolution to the dispute.
Health sector management have invited the INMO to meet with them next week in a bid to break the impasse.