Time for Harris and Donohoe to intervene to prevent industrial action
Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD has said that the Ministers for Public Expenditure and Health need to urgently produce a road map for pay equality to prevent further staff shortages in our health services.
This comes as nurses in the INMO have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.
Deputy Kelly said:
“It is absolutely no surprise that Ireland’s hard-working nurses have voted in favour of industrial action. This Government has completely failed to recognise the plight of nurses, particularly new-entrants, in our health system.
“For months union representatives have been outlining the concerns nursing staff have around pay and overcrowding and the Government has done very little to alleviate these concerns.
“Month on month, the trolley crisis is continuing to get worse. The more people that are on trolleys, the more chaotic and unsafe working conditions become for staff.
“With so much negative commentary and anecdotal evidence of how difficult it is to be a nurse in Ireland, it is no wonder that the HSE are finding it so difficult to attract staff to the profession.
“Time and time again we have heard the Government say that they will address the concerns of nurses but without addressing the issues around pay equality.
“When we consider the conditions that many nurses work in, it’s no surprise that many graduate nurses are heading abroad to find a better deal. These graduate nurses have seen it all throughout their training in Irish hospitals, the often grave conditions in accident and emergency, psychiatric and maternity wards coupled with the fact that there are better conditions in other countries, are enough to drive them away.
“Ending the two-tier pay system in our hospitals would go a long way to enticing more graduate nurses into our hospitals and would also play a part in encouraging more nurses home.
“The Labour Party has been very clear, the emergency is over, it is time to end the two-tier pay system across the public service.
“If we are to end the staffing crisis in our health service, the Government needs to be more proactive when it comes to attracting quality staff to our healthcare system and deal with the issues around pay and conditions.”