Labour Court expected to review nurses' strike

Nurses on the picket line outside the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin today. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

It is expected that the Labour Court will review the nurses' strike tomorrow in an effort to avert widespread disruption to the health service next week.

While the intervention would be significant, both the nursing unions and the government have not changed their stance on the issue of pay.

Three strike days by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are due to take place next week, with thousands of patients likely to have their medical appointments cancelled.

Government sources say they believe the Labour Court will review the nurses dispute early tomorrow morning.

Given that the court said 10 days ago that the sides were too far apart for it to intervene, this would be a significant move.

However, there are no signs that either the nursing unions, who want a 12% pay increase, or the government, which says it cannot afford those rises, have changed their positions.

It could be that the court is making one last attempt to resolve the row and prevent what the HSE worries would be huge disruption across the health sector next week.

Some 27,000 patients had medical appointments cancelled as a result of today's industrial action, with 80,000 cancelled over the three days of strikes.

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