For only the second time in 100 years, on January 29th 2019, nurses and midwives went on strike for equal pay and safer working conditions.
Mary supports the nurses and midwives campaign for equal pay and safer working conditions.
The fact that nurses decided to take this action shows just how frustrated they are with unequal pay and unsafe work conditions.
The Government repeatedly ignored nurses as they warned of the major problems with staff recruitment and retention and the strike is a direct result of the Government’s refusal to engage.
Fianna Fáil put forward a private members motion in the Dáil two weeks ago encouraging the Health Minister to enter proper discussions with the INMO. Unfortunately, subsequent talks broke down as the INMO felt the Government put forward no genuine proposals which would avert a strike.
Mary has been talking to nurses and they are at their wits end. None of them want to be on the picket line, they are deeply dedicated to their patients, but they feel they’ve been left with no other option.
Nurses provide professional care but are not receiving the necessary support. The nursing profession has changed radically over recent years, yet nurses and midwives are still the lowest paid – core salary – graduate professionals in the health service.
Nurses in Dublin Central are deeply concerned that patient’s welfare is at risk because of unsafe working conditions and they themselves are unable to afford to rent or buy a home and keep up with the increased cost of living in Dublin Central.
Mary says for patients, nurses, midwives and their families further strike action should be averted.
The Government can prevent the further strike action if it wants to.
The Government needs to start listening to what the INMO are telling them and engage meaningfully with the nurses.