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‘Enough is enough’ – Mayo nurses prepare to strike

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FLASHBACK Nurses on strike at Mayo General Hospital back in 2007.

Lúcás Treacy

Following the three days of talks which collapsed last Friday evening, the Government still haven’t produced any proposals to avert a 24-hour strike which is proposed by the nurses and midwives this Wednesday, January 30.
Mayo INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation) representative Donna Hyland said the strike is centered around the safety of patients and the safety of the staff themselves.
“We haven’t taken the decision to go on strike very lightly, it has come after deep consideration from the nurses and midwives involved in this, but we are facing issues with regard to recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives within the service. The difficulty with retention is having an impact on overcrowding and this is ensuring that patient waiting times increase. Our staff are working within understaffed services and over time, this is having an impact on staff safety,” Ms Hyland explained to The Mayo News.
If there are no proposals produced by the government after the initial 24-hour work stoppage on Wednesday, there will be further strike action planned for the coming weeks. The INMO has released data indicating strike action on February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14, if nothing has been resolved.
“The nature of the strike will be a 24-hour work stoppage with nurses and midwives within the IMNO providing life preserving care and emergency care throughout that period.
“The reason for us going on strike is that we can’t sustain the service any longer. I don’t actually think that any nurse or midwife really wants to go out on strike, it’s actually something that’s very, very alien to us. We deeply care about the work we do and we deeply care about our patients, but there comes a point where you have to stand up and say enough is enough,” added Ms Hyland.
The HSE are competing with International health systems which are heavily recruiting Irish nurses and midwives, providing increased pay and improved conditions in systems in places such as Australia and Canada.
“I trust my colleagues working in Mayo University Hospital, the older persons services and the community services right throughout the county. We are the workers on the front line and we see what exactly needs to happen in order to improve the service. We want to see a better standard, we want to see safety, primarily for ourselves and especially for our patients,” concluded Ms Hyland.