Psychiatric nurses union announces three day strike

Galway Daily news SIPTU members going on strike at LISK plant in Gort

The Psychiatric Nurses Association of Ireland has announced they will strike for three days next month.

The union which represents roughly 6,000 nurses is going on strike over pay and staff retention issues that have been highlighted by nurses.

Psychiatric nurses will also be unavailable for overtime on a further five days ahead of the strike.

Members of the PNA will strike from February 12-14, and will be unavailable for overtime on January 31 and February 1st, 5th, 6th, and 7th.

They are joining the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation who announced earlier this week that they will strike for six days towards the end of the month and in early February.

Between the two unions, roughly 40,000 nurses and midwives will be striking over the coming weeks.

In a ballot held last month, members of the PNA voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action (95%) following their rejection of the Public Pay Commission Report.

The Commission’s report said that there was no general difficulty in retaining nurses for Irish hospitals, and proposed a pay package that nurses say is inadequate.

The packages contains approximately €20 million, mostly in the form of allowances and improving access to promotional posts.

Peter Hughes, general secretary of the PNA, said issues with retaining nurses are escalating, and hurting patients.

“With a 40 per cent increase in vacancies from November 2017 to September 2018, the level of vacancies is totally unsustainable and is seriously impacting on service delivery and patient care.”