The Executive Council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has sanctioned a campaign of industrial action in pursuance of safe staffing.
This follows a month-long period of consultation.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“It has been made very clear to us from at each meeting we attended in the last month that working nurses are reporting that there is a severe staffing crisis in our hospitals. Nurses in each hospital have stated that unsafe staffing is the norm. This is unacceptable in regards of patient safety and nurses’ safety at work.
“Ballots for industrial action have been sanctioned on a location-by-location basis, as it is clear that the staffing levels in certain locations are enduring a huge shortfall. We know that many hospitals cannot keep up with the pace at which nurses are leaving to work in safer environments.
“The INMO Executive Council is now seeking that the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive produce a fully funded workforce plan for the coming winter ahead of the INMO Annual Delegate Conference. If this plan is not completed, a national ballot will be considered.”
INMO President Karen McGowan said:
“Safe staffing should not be a pipe dream for nurses. Patients should be made aware of the severity of the staffing deficits our members are trying to work through. Hospital management in each location cannot keep trying to fill from an empty cup. The expectation that we can run our health service at a less-than-safe staffing capacity must be challenged.”