Huge support for Kilkenny nurses as they take to the picket line
KILKENNY patients have been urged to stay away from our hospitals except in the case of emergencies as the nationwide nurses’ strike impacts in services.
Nurses took to the picket line outside St Luke’s General Hospital and Kilkcreene hospital from 8am this morning.
Local members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) brazed bitterly cold conditions to come out in force today.
They are demanding pay rises, but are also protesting to highlight the need to keep young nurses, many of whom are forced to emigrate in search of better pay and conditions, at home in Ireland.
So far the nurses’ action appears to have the support of the vast majority of the public, some of whom showed up outside St Luke’s this morning with coffee for the striking nurses.
Just under three quarters (74%) of those surveyed for a poll carried out for RTE’s Claire Byrne show and TheJournal.ie said they supported the nurses’ action.
Today’s action resulted in widespread closures and restrictions of hospital services.
The restrictions have affected the following operations in all hospitals:
*In-patient and other wards;
*Planned obstetric procedures (based on maternal and foetal well-being).
Key hospital services that are operational are:
*Urgent cancer surgery;
*Maternity services (delivery suites/home births/ special baby care units/neonatal care);
*Oncology services (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) will all go ahead;
Just under 40,000 nurses are taking part in today’s action, the first of six planned stoppages.
Further strikes are scheduled to take place on February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14.
The INMO is 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.