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'The largest strike in the health service’s history looms': Talks to avoid nurses strike have collapsed

This would be the second time in the INMO’s hundred-year history that nurses or midwives go on strike.

Image: INMO

TALKS BETWEEN NURSES unions and the government have collapsed this evening.

It was hoped that the negotiations, facilitated by the Workplace Relations Commission, would have avoided industrial action that is scheduled for next Wednesday, 30 January.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has over 40,000 members; in a ballot held before the strike was announced, over 90% of members that were polled voted in favour of industrial action.

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

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:

Ireland’s nurses and midwives are asking simple questions. Where is the Taoiseach? Where is the Minister for Finance? There is a vacuum of political leadership.
The largest strike in the health service’s history looms and our political leaders are nowhere to be seen.

“With a heavy heart, strike preparations continue. As ever, we are available to talk any time, but we are still waiting for the government to make realistic proposals to avert this strike.”

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