Talks To Resolve Nurses Dispute

Fresh talks are reportedly being planned for next week in a renewed effort to resolve the nurses’ dispute. Reports this morning say the National Implementation Body could be set to step in and call both sides back to the table.

The move follows the announcement of a major escalation in the nurses` campaign of industrial action. The Irish Nurses Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association said yesterday that they planned to target more than 50 hospitals and mental facilities with a series of one-hour stoppages next week.

The INO and PNA are seeking a 10% pay rise for their members, as well as a 35-hour working week. The strike action next week is the latest protest in a deepening month-old crisis regarding demands for better pay and working hours.

The Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) and Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) will mount the one-hour work stoppages on Wednesday and Friday. Both unions stressed that some staff will be exempt to allow for essential and emergency care during the industrial dispute walkouts.

The work-to-rule action by INO and PNA nurses throughout the country which began four weeks ago is also continuing.

“The escalation will mean that all major acute hospitals, together with the mental health services in the same geographic area, will have been involved in a work stoppage, in addition to the on-going work to rule,” a spokesman for the unions said. “This is fully consistent with a mandate given to both unions, by a 98% vote, to continuously roll out this campaign on a nationwide basis.”

The unions insisted they remain willing to engage in meaningful talks with health chiefs to resolve the escalating strike action.

Hospitals and mental health services in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Monaghan Kildare, Limerick, Dublin, Kilkenny, Cavan, Waterford, Westmeath, Longford, Mayo, Louth, Limerick, Wicklow, Meath, Kerry, Offaly, Wexford will be affected.