Thursday, 7 February 2019
Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements
John Brassil (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
Support for the nurses, midwives and psychiatric nurses is widespread but at this stage they are not looking for support; they want a resolution. The only solution is to enter into meaningful talks. We have suggested Kieran Mulvey as a mediator but somebody of that stature is needed because without meaningful negotiations, we are going nowhere.
The pay issue is one element. Stress, workplace conditions, staffing numbers, part-time versus full-time contracts, particularly for psychiatric nurses, continuing education, an accommodation allowance and so forth are all issues that have to be dealt with in this dispute. The Government is claiming that the cost is €300 million. The INMO and the PNA say it is nowhere near that figure and that resolution can be found under existing structures.
I call on Ministers to stop pitching nurses against the rest of the public service. I call on them to solve this issue for the nurses and to start as soon as this debate concludes today.