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Minister Donohoe must engage with nursing unions and strike a deal - Louise O'Reilly TD

16 January, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking in the Dáil this evening Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has called on the Minister for Finance to sit down with nursing unions and strike a deal in order to address the causes of the recruitment and retention crisis and avert strike action.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The recruitment and retention crisis affecting the nursing and midwifery professions and the associated issue of pay is one of the most significant problems affecting the health service, and it has been an ongoing issue for many years now.

“The government cannot pretend that this issue has taken them by surprise, since I walked through the gates of Leinster House one of the issues which I have raised week in week out with the government is the recruitment and retention crisis amongst staff in our health service.

“Last April Sinn Féin introduced a Private Members Motion entitled ‘Nurses' and Midwives' Pay and Recruitment’ which was unanimously passed by the house, however, the government refused to implement its recommendations.

“Fine Gael have had nearly 8 years to address the nursing recruitment and retention crisis; but, not only have they completely failed in this regard, they have allowed the situation to become worse.

“Indeed, the response by government TDs, government Ministers, and even the Taoiseach to nurses and midwives raising their concerns has been to verbally attacked them, to threatened them, to insulted them.

“Members of the INMO and the PNA have not taken this decision lightly - this is their last resort.

“A strike is the last thing they want to have to undertake, but the nurses and midwives in our health service have been forced to undertake this action due to the ignorance, arrogance, and ineptitude of this government.

“Nurses, midwives, and their unions have continuously sought engagement with the Minister for Finance in order to address the core problems of staff shortages and pay in order to avert this escalation to industrial action and they have put forward sensible and responsible solutions to address this crisis and avert strike action.

“Nurses and midwives not only make a significant contribution to the health service, they make a significant contribution to society and they deserve our support in their demand for a better health service which treats them as essential skilled workers with dignity and value and which pays them appropriately.

“This strike can be averted, but to do that Minister Donohoe must engage with nursing and midwifery unions and strike a deal."

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