THERE IS “no light at the end of the tunnel” for frustrated Limerick nurses and midwives who are set to go on strike at the end of the month, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
This Tuesday afternoon, the INMO announced that its members across the country would engage in a 24-hour strike on January 30, following its dissatisfaction with Government engagement surrounding recruitment, retention and pay parity.
The union has forewarned the Government that if they do not come up with a solution, INMO members could stage up to five days of additional strike days in February.
In a statement to the Limerick Leader, the UL Hospitals Group said:
"UL Hospitals Group and the INMO are currently engaging in discussions on contingency arrangements on nurse staffing for the scheduled industrial action. We are meeting with the INMO this Wednesday afternoon where the matter will be progressed."
INMO spokesperson Mary Fogarty said a Government solution “needs to be meaningful and robust”.
“Nurses want to nurse and midwives want to practise midwifery. They don’t want to be on strike. They want to be able, to be facilitated, to do the job they were educated to do. But unfortunately over the last decade now, that situation has deteriorated for them. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel presently to address that and to turn that around.
She said that it is their not objective to have members out on strike.
“They lose wages. Our objective is to have this matter resolved. What else does a worker do when it comes to this level after a number of years of engagement,” she told the Limerick Leader this Wednesday.
Ms Fogarty added: “The core issue is pay. They need to acknowledge that there is a recruitment and retention difficulty and they need to start implementation of equity of pay for our members in terms of other allied healthcare professionals working alongside them.
“Why should a nurse or midwife make €7,000 a year lower paid than her colleagues working with her or him? There is no rationale for that. It’s unfair. It’s wrong and it is causing our members, our nurses and midwives to leave this country.”
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