Government to blame if nurses and midwives take industrial action - Louise O'Reilly TD
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said that any industrial action by nurses and midwives will be the inevitable outcome of the government’s refusal to take the concerns of nurses and midwives seriously.
Teachta O’Reilly was speaking today following the decision of delegates the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) to reject Government pay proposals.
The Fingal TD said:
“Today nursing and midwifery delegates belonging to the INMO and the PNA voted to recommend that their members reject government proposals which do not sufficiently deal with the issue of pay.
“Fed up with not being listened to by government and their concerns, opinions, and needs not being addressed, the delegates rejected the proposals and if their members do the same then they will have to move to their last available action - a ballot of members for industrial action
“For years now, nurses, midwives and their Unions have highlighted the recruitment and retention crisis in the health service and they have proposed reasonable and responsible solutions on how to address it.
“Yet, there has been complete disengagement from government on the issue.
“The Public Service Pay Commission report was supposed to independently analyse and assess the crisis, its causes and how to address the problems.
“However, it was clear from the outset that the government was determined that the Commission take a very restrictive view as regards the issue of pay, and therefore the INMO delegates overwhelmingly rejected it today.
“Nurses and midwives have been flagging the issue of recruitment and retention for years now but it has fallen on deaf ears in government buildings.
“In the midst of a nursing and midwifery recruitment and retention crisis the government should be focusing on addressing the causes of this crisis keeping staff but instead they are ignoring the concerns of nurses and midwives and forcing them into balloting for industrial action.
“It is not too late to broker a resolution but the government must be willing to listen and take seriously the pay concerns of nurses and midwives.
“The Oireachtas has passed a resolution in April of this year supporting nurses and midwives and which clearly called on the government to introduce recruitment and retention measures based on realistic proposals which must prioritise pay.
“The government must engage with nurses and midwives and their unions as a matter of urgency and ensure that their concerns are addressed and industrial action can be averted."