Limerick nurses to defy Reilly with third work stoppage this Tuesday

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

EMERGENCY department nurses in Limerick are to press ahead with more protests next week despite Health Minister James Reilly’s assertions they are in breach of the Croke Park agreement for public sector workers.

EMERGENCY department nurses in Limerick are to press ahead with more protests next week despite Health Minister James Reilly’s assertions they are in breach of the Croke Park agreement for public sector workers.

Members of the INMO and SIPTU will this Tuesday picket the Mid-Western Regional Hospital - their third work stoppage inside a fortnight - for four hours from 8.30am. Nurses say “the limit has been reached” in Dooradoyle when it comes to A&E overcrowding. They added that they have nothing to gain personally from protests being mounted to highlight risks to patients arising from inadequate staffing levels and cutbacks.

Minister Reilly enraged Limerick nurses when he told the Dail last week that they had crossed the line with an “unsafe, unsound and unwarranted” action which would “lead to more danger for patients, not less”.

“I believe this is ultra vires and outside the (Croke Park) agreement,” the Minister added.

But Mary Fogarty, INMO industrial relations officer in Limerick, has challenged the Minister to point out where the Croke Park agreement requires nurses to “cover up risks, safety issues and quality of standards”.

“The people of the Mid-West should be very proud of the nurses at the Mid Western Regional Hospital for putting the patient safety issues into the public arena. Nurses have taken a stand, on behalf of patients, that the limit has been reached in Limerick and that the safety of patients cannot be left to deteriorate further, which will happen, if left unaddressed,” she added.