“It is very regrettable that this issue had to come down to the wire before the government as the nurses’ employer engaged constructively with union representatives.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has welcomed tonight’s suspension of further strike action by nurses after the intervention of the Labour Court.

Deputy Shortall said:

“I welcome the fact that the Labour Court’s intervention means this week’s scheduled strike action has been called off. It is very regrettable that this issue had to come down to the wire before the government as the nurses’ employer engaged constructively with union representatives.

“There is massive public support for our nurses and midwives who have legitimate and longstanding grievances over pay and staffing, including problems with recruitment and retention.

“It was always inevitable that all parties would have to come to the table to resolve these issues for the sake of both patients and staff. While public support for the nurses has been solid, the cancellation of procedures in recent weeks has undoubtedly taken its toll on patients.”

Deputy Shortall added:

“Progress on this dispute could have been made long before today within the context of the existing public sector pay agreement had the Minister for Health and Minister for Public Expenditure been willing to engage with nurses’ unions in a positive and constructive manner.”

ENDS

11th February 2019