INMO meets HSE ten days ahead of strike ballot

The INMO met the HSE and Department of Health today in an effort to avert a strike by nurses and midwives over unsafe levels of staffing.

A members’ vote on strike action is set to begin in ten days.

The INMO said they have left this two-week cooling off period to allow the employers to make realistic proposals to avert a dispute.

The INMO expressed disappointment that no proposals were made at today’s meeting, but reaffirmed that they are available to meet any day before balloting begins.

The Department of Health and HSE today committed to further meetings.

Nurses and midwives have expressed repeated concern that pay is too low to recruit and retain enough staff for safe care.

Government proposals to resolve the issue were rejected as insufficient by 94% of INMO members in a vote last month.

Ireland’s public health service now has 2,600 fewer nurses and midwives than in 2007, while demands on the health service have increased significantly.

At the meeting, the HSE and Department of Health confirmed that recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives remains a major difficulty.

"Nurses and midwives are immensely dedicated professionals and our concerns deserve to be taken seriously," said INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha.

"We will not stand by while patient care is compromised due to understaffing. The HSE simply cannot hire enough nurses and midwives on these wages.

In ten days’ time, our members will vote on whether to go on strike. This is not a decision that any nurse or midwife will take lightly.

"We have been clear with the HSE and Department of Health today, setting out the areas where they should focus in order to avert this dispute.

"We remain available for discussions each and every day until balloting begins."

Digital Desk

More on this topic

Scientists say you really, really shouldn’t use homemade sunscreen from a recipe on Pinterest

Thousands of healthcare workers expected to vote for strike action

Cancer trial cutbacks depriving people of chance to live

Simon Harris: Hospital managers can't recruit staff 'willy-nilly'

More in this Section

Bus Éireann passenger numbers at 10 year high, carrying more than 83 million in 2018

McDonald claims Government are out of touch on housing and homelessness

Government 'sleepwalking' toward unsafe cannabis legislation, warn doctors

Couple in Holles Street termination case call for inquest


Lifestyle

Chelsea Flower Show feeling Brexit sting

Scientists say you really, really shouldn’t use homemade sunscreen from a recipe on Pinterest

Spoilers: Game of Thrones finale problematic in both plot and execution

The Earth's magnetic north pole is shifting rapidly – so what will happen to the northern lights?

More From The Irish Examiner