HSE And Nursing Unions Renew Negotiations

Talks on the nurses’ dispute have been adjourned until Saturday afternoon. Liam Doran, General Secretary of the Irish Nurses Organisation, said the negotiations had reached a critical phase. He said unions wanted a definite date for the commencement of a 35-hour week.

Brendan Mulligan of the HSE-Employers Agency said that health employers were willing to have a two-phased approach to reduce hours for nurses in return for greater productivity and payroll savings. The pay claim has yet to be discussed in detail at these talks.

A joint meeting of the INO and Psychiatric Nurses Association Strategy Committee takes place this afternoon to review progress in the talks.

Earlier this week, talks between the nursing unions and the National Implementation Body led to the unions suspending the planned escalation of one-hour work stoppages in over 50 hospitals around the country.

Liam Doran said after the meeting that a basis had been agreed for talks on nurses’ demands. He said the negotiations would be tough, adding that the suspension of one-hour work stoppages would be kept under daily review.

Nursing unions have already staged a series of stoppages at various health facilities around the country. The work to rule by 44,000 nurses continues.