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Harney must intervene and withdraw HSE threat to nurses – Ó Caoláin

9 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has described as "outrageous" the threat from the HSE to deduct 13% from nurses' salaries if they continue their work-to-rule beyond Thursday afternoon. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"The threat by the Health Service Executive to deduct 13% from nurses' salaries is outrageous. The threat is clearly being made to try to force the hand of the nurses who gather for a special delegate conference of the Irish Nurses Organisation in Dublin tomorrow (Thursday). It is pouring petrol on the flames of an already prolonged and very difficult dispute.

"The Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney should intervene immediately and order the HSE to withdraw this threat. Indeed, the deterioration of the dispute in this way highlights the Pontius Pilate attitude of this Minister and this Government to the nurses' dispute. Minister Harney seems to have gone to ground since the General Election was called but she is presiding over yet another debacle in our health services.

"The just demand of the nurses for a 35-hour week is not new and is at the centre of dispute now because successive governments have failed to address it. Sinn Féin supports the nurses in their demand for a 35-hour week and improved pay. These are the front-line workers in our health services and they deserve the full support of the wider trade union movement." ENDS

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