Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has praised INMO nurses who braved the cold on Wednesday to stand on picket lines seeking improvements in pay and standards for nurses and midwives. Pickets were held at hospitals across the state.
Deputy Munster stood in solidarity with nurses and midwives at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Deputy Munster said: “I was proud to stand on the picket line with nurses and midwives. The atmosphere of determination and solidarity was palpable. It was obvious that the public is standing firmly with the nurses. Every passing car was beeping and there was an outpouring of support from members of the public.”
“The problems with recruitment and retention have been ongoing for years, and the government has done little to encourage nurses working abroad to come back home. Wednesday was another example, where nurses were forced to take to the picket line in order to ensure safe working conditions and safety for patients.” “Until such time as the government addresses the issues of nurses and midwives pay and conditions the problems of recruitment and retention are going to linger on. Nurses did not want to strike. This was a last resort. This is only their second time ever taking to the picket lines.”
“The safety of patients is being put at risk due to understaffing. Unless the government acknowledges the work these frontline workers do, in stressful conditions, we’re going to end up with a situation where every newly qualified nurse or midwife will leave these shores to find work in hospitals across the world where they are treated with respect, proper pay and proper conditions.”
“Instead of addressing these problems, government Ministers are now threatening pay and pension deductions from nurses and midwives. The government needs to stop issuing threats and instead deal with the issues that led to this week’s strike.”