Nurse strike 2019 Ireland

35,000 healthcare professionals are picketing for better pay and the issue of staff retention is to be addressed by health chiefs.

The industrial action will start at 8am on Wednesday and last for 24 hours, while the INMO has said that further strikes will take place on the 5th and 7th of February, and then the 12th, 13th and 14th if an agreement cannot be reached. 

Talks between the INMO and government officials broke down yesterday, and the Labour Court chose not to intervene to prevent the strike.

Nursing unions are seeking pay parity with health service grades like physiotherapists, whom they say they trail by around €7,000 a year.

The union called its first national strike in two decades after talks with the government and the Health Service Executive, a state agency, broke down.

The INMO says nurses and midwives work longer hours and are paid less money than in 2008, when the global financial crisis prompted austerity measures.

“No nurse or midwife wants to go on strike, but we have been forced into this position by a government that just isn’t listening,” said Tony Fitzpatrick, its industrial relations director.

The government says nurses are to receive significant pay rises under an existing public service agreement and that the additional rise they are striking for would cost about €300m (£260m) a year, blowing a hole in the budget and triggering demands for hefty rises from other public sector workers.
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