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Ministers Donohoe and Harris must intervene to resolve issues forcing nurses and midwives to strike - Louise O'Reilly TD

18 December, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this morning following the announcement that members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation have voted to strike by 95% in a dispute over staff shortages and pay, Sinn Fein health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that this is solely the fault of this government, and in particular Ministers Pascal Donohoe and Simon Harris.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Despite what the government say and how they try to spin this, they have forced nurses to vote for strike action through their own failure, their own mismanagement, and their own ineptitude.

“The government have had 8 years to address the nursing recruitment and retention crisis in the health service, but they have completely failed and the situation has deteriorated.

“Nurses, midwives, and their unions have continuously sought engagement with the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance in order to address the core problems of staff shortages and pay in order to avert the escalation to industrial action, but they have been ignored.

“Instead, the response from this government has been to try to smear them as being responsible for the trolley crisis for taking holidays at Christmas, to paint their reasonable requests as being greedy and excessive without even speaking to them, and to threaten them. 

“Members of the INMO have not taken this decision lightly - this is their last resort because they have been left with no option.

“This vote to strike is one of frustration and the government cannot ignore that both the INMO and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) have both voted overwhelmingly by 95% each for industrial action.

“Nurses and midwives deserve our support and we should support them in their demand for a better health service which treats them as essential skilled workers with dignity and value.

“This strike can be averted, but to do that the government has to sit down and engage with unions representing nurses and midwives and come to an agreement on how to resolve these problems once and for all."

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