DUBLIN, Ireland - The Nursing Unions, HSE, and the Department of Health held a meeting on Tuesday to avert the nurses' strikes over pay. The meeting also addressed the issue of staff shortages.
According to the striking unions, the nurses are seeking a pay rise of around 12% saying that inadequate pay leads to a recruitment and retention crisis. Both the Psychiatric Nurses Association and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organizations have supported the action strike.
The INMO has scheduled six nationwide strike days which include 30 January, and 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14 February for its 37,000 members. On the other hand, the PNA is planning a three-day strike from 12-14 February. PNA's 6000 members will also refuse to do overtime on 31 January as well as on 1, 5, 6 and 7 February.
The Health Minister Simon Harris said that after signing up to the public sector pay agreement, the nurses have responsibilities of not causing industrial unrest. Hence, they should all come together to find solutions.
Meanwhile, the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine spokesman Fergal Hickey has called for capital investments in Irish hospitals in order to increase bed capacity and reduce overcrowding in emergency departments.