THE HSE has today been served three weeks’ notice that strike action will take place next month, after union members in emergency departments nationwide voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of industrial action.
As a result of 92% of Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) members voting in favour of strike action, a strike committee is to be immediately established at the University Hospital Limerick and emergency departments around the country.
Nationwide industrial action will take place on Tuesday, December 15, and will continue on a simultaneous/rolling basis into 2016 also.
According to the INMO, strike action will involve all members, with the exception of a standby emergency response team, requiring the hospital to go off emergency call.
INMO general secretary Liam Doran said that this strike action is a direct result of the Government’s failure to recognise the “overcrowding crisis and to allocate the necessary resources to properly address it”.
“Our members will no longer tolerate having to go to work, every day, and face constant overcrowding where both the care of patients, and the health and wellbeing of staff, is compromised without anyone, in authority, seeming to recognise the consequences,” he said.
“Members have had enough, we know patients have had enough, and it is now up to government, and management, to address these issues, in dialogue with us, if this campaign of strike action is to be avoided,” he said at a press conference this morning.
According to monthly INMO figures, UHL had the second-highest rate of overcrowding in the country in October, with 763 people on trolleys. It was also the hospital’s worst ever October since records began in 2006.
However, this number is expected to drop this month, as the UL Hospitals Group has adopted its Winter Resilience Plan, which has seen up to 40 extra beds added to the Dooradoyle campus.
This morning, there were 17 people being treated on trolleys at UHL.