Decision by PNA nurses to strike is justified

10 January 2019

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said the Labour Party fully backs the decision by the Psychiatric Nurses Association to take strike action next month.

Commenting after the announcement by the PNA, Deputy Kelly said:

 “No worker takes going on strike lightly and the decision by PNA members to go on strike was obviously not an easy one to make.

“Psych nurses have arguably one of the most challenging jobs in our health sector and with the numbers of staff continuing to decrease due to pay and conditions it is no surprise that they feel they have to go one strike.

“What we are seeing is that nurses are being asked to take on incredibly long shifts, and new recruits are being offered low wages.

“The threat of work stoppage is proportionate. At the end of the day, the major bargaining power that workers have in these situations is to withdraw their labour. That’s a power that is rightly protected in law, and the possibility of a strike has to be real in order to make employers and the Minister sit up and take notice of the unacceptable working conditions that nurses are reporting from right across the country.

“With the reality of strike action in our hospitals by members of the INMO and PNA becoming closer, the Government need to show a bit of cop on and agree to rationally discuss the issues with nursing representatives.”

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