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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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The Labour Court is intervening in the nurses' strike

A formal hearing will take place at 3.30pm.

Updated Feb 11th 2019, 5:00 PM

THE LABOUR COURT is to issue a recommendation following the decision for it to intervene in the nurses’ strike.

A formal hearing took place at 3.30pm this afternoon. After the recommendation is issued, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) executive will consider the recommendation. 

Initial talks between the INMO and government negotiators at the Labour Court ended at around 3am this morning without any concrete resolution. 

The Court had said it would decide if there was sufficient scope for it to intervene in the dispute, and that it would alert the two sides today. 

In a statement earlier today the INMO said that preparations for a three day strike this week, beginning tomorrow and concluding on Thursday, were continuing. 

Tens of thousands of hospital appointments are set to be cancelled. 

Ongoing action

The strikes follow three days of similar action over the last two weeks as nurses at hospitals and medical centres across the country took to the picket lines in the dispute over pay and conditions within the sector. 

About 37,000 nurses and midwives are currently engaging in strike action over pay and staffing levels.

Nurses and midwives have said they are underpaid and understaffed, meaning they cannot safely do their jobs.

They have argued that a pay rise of 12% is needed to bring them into line with other graduate health professionals, and to attract and retain staff. 

An opinion poll of more than 1,000 adults carried out by Ámarach Research for Claire Byrne Live last week found that almost eight in 10 people (78%) support the continuation of strike action.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin in support of the striking workers.

The government fears that if it agrees to increase nurses’ salaries, other public servants such as teachers and gardaí will also seek pay increases.

Speaking about the strike action, Finance and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe previously said increasing nurses’ salaries could lead to other public service workers seeking pay rises.

- With reporting from Órla Ryan and Daragh Brophy 

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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