Mary welcomed the resolution of the nurses and midwives strike within the framework of the public sector pay agreement.
As with all disputes, there was always going to be a solution. So the question a lot of people are asking is why did it take three days of strike action, postponement and cancellation of 10s of 1,000s of medical treatments and needless upset for patients and carers to get the Government to engage in talks to reach an agreement?
It is unacceptable, considering the wealth of resources available to the Government that 80,000 patients medical treatments were cancelled and workers were so unnecessarily inconvenienced and distressed.
Thankfully the Government belatedly engaged and patients have been spared the chaos of three consecutive days of strike action this week.
Both sides agreed that the resolution to the dispute must be found within the framework of the Public Service Stability Agreement and the Labour Court recommendation makes progress across all areas of concern to the nursing unions, including the key areas of safer working conditions.
Hopefully there will be no further disruption to our already embattled health service and the Government will start to take account of the changing nature of the nursing and midwifery profession and treat it accordingly.