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Nurses announce 2 further strike dates in addition to 5 already planned

The INMO made the decision after a meeting of its executive council today.
Feb 2nd 2019, 5:11 PM 60,132 162

NURSES AND MIDWIVES have voted today for a further two additional strike days as they escalate their industrial action.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) met this afternoon to discuss the potential for further strikes beyond the dates already set for industrial action – 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14 February.

The new strikes will take place on 19 and 21 February.

In a statement, the INMO said the number of services on strike will increase from 82 to 240 next week.

A national rally is also being planned for next Saturday 9 February.

Its general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Nurses and midwives proudly stood up in defence of our patients and professions last Wednesday, but the government has responded with threats and intransigence.

Our message is clear. We will not be going away – resolving this dispute requires direct engagement from the government, recognising the real recruitment and retention problems in Irish nursing and midwifery.

Ní Sheaghdha added they would remain available for talks with the government if there were any “realistic proposals” on the table.

The INMO – which has over 40,000 members – announced strike action in January. In a ballot held in November, over 90% of members that were polled voted in favour of industrial action.

Nurses have argued for measures to deal with what they called the recruitment and retention crisis among members. They said that increasing nurses’ pay was the only way to retain nurses, and that this in turn would improve working conditions.

The government has said it will not countenance any pay rises for nurses outside of the broader public sector pay agreement reached last year. It has steadfastly refused to budge on this position. 

A recent Claire Byrne Live/ TheJournal.ie poll carried out by Amárach Research of 1,000 adults found broad support for the nurses’ action.

When questioned whether they supported the planned 24-hour strike by nurses and midwives, 74% of respondents said yes.

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Sean Murray

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