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Psychiatric nurses suspend indefinite overtime ban due to begin this evening

The dispute between the PNA and the HSE has now been referred to the Labour Court.

Image: Shutterstock/Guschenkova

THE PSYCHIATRIC NURSES Association (PNA) has suspended its indefinite overtime ban which had been due to begin this evening. 

The dispute between the PNA and the HSE has now been referred to the Labour Court. 

The dispute, involving 6,000 staff, centres around demands for additional pay and incentives in order to tackle issues with recruitment and retention in mental health services.

The PNA had announced yesterday that it would begin its overtime ban this evening after pay talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) broke down on Monday. 

However, the PNA this evening said it has “accepted an urgent referral to the Labour Court at the request of the WRC”.  

“There has been extensive contact between the PNA and the WRC in the past 24 hours during which some issues have been resolved with further outstanding issues to be referred to the Labour Court,” the PNA said in a statement. 

“More than 200 nursing posts have been approved to alleviate the reliance on overtime and agency staff throughout the mental health services.”

In a statement, the HSE said: “The HSE welcomes the suspension by the PNA of industrial action which was due to begin this evening in the form of an overtime ban in many 24/7 psychiatric facilities nationwide.

“The action would have had a very significant impact on vulnerable patients in locations across the country. The HSE said it looked forward to the outstanding issues between union and employer being dealt with in  the Labour Court.

“The HSE strongly supports the referral of the outstanding matters to the Labour Court.”

Health dispute

Meanwhile, Siptu yesterday confirmed that the Labour Court will issue recommendations aimed at resolving the dispute involving support grade staff and chefs in the health service within 10 working days. 

This dispute centres around a job evaluation scheme. 

Affected workers involve Siptu members working in portering, household and catering services as well as those employed as healthcare assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians.

“Siptu representatives have spent six days in the Labour Court arguing our members’ case,” Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell said.

We welcome the news that the court is now in a position to issue recommendations aimed at resolving our longstanding dispute within 10 working days.

“We would like to thank the members of the Labour Court for their hard work and efforts over the last number of weeks and our members for the patience and resolve they have shown throughout this process so far.”

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