Strike action is looming at University Hospital Galway (UHG) after the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) rejected staffing proposals put forward by the HSE.
The organisation has now served notice of nationwide industrial action for early next month.
The strike action, which will commence on Tuesday 7 March, will take the form of a work-to-rule resulting in a ban on overtime, cross cover and redeployment.
The organisation also stated they will commence a series of rolling stoppages if the dispute is not resolved.
33 patients were on trolleys in UHG yesterday (Tuesday), the fourth highest figure in the country.
According to the INMO, the strike is part of a nationwide action against continued overcrowding, inadequate staffing and the ongoing compromising of patient care.
The INMO Executive Council rejected the staffing/recruitment/retention proposals put forward last Tuesday, 7 February by the HSE branding them as “totally inadequate”.
“In considering the proposals, Executive Council members presented numerous examples of nurses and midwives unable to provide full care to their patients, working beyond the end of their shift without pay, unable to take meal breaks and facing unmanageable workloads because of the appalling conditions, and inadequate staffing they now face every day,” said Martina Harkin-Kelly, INMO President.
Executive Council members considered the proposals put forward by the HSE as “completely inadequate” in terms of retaining staff and recognising the reality of the workplace endured by nurses and midwives. In terms of recruitment, the proposals were regarded as “too little too late”.
The compromising of the health and safety of patients, nurses and midwives must be recognised and addressed, according to INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran.
“The clear message received from INMO members is that their workplaces are now unsafe and dangerously overcrowded. All areas are understaffed and the services are at breaking point which will require radical solutions to take the pressure off struggling nurses and midwives.
“We need to attract and retain nurses and midwives in sufficient numbers to provide safe care and the current proposals contain no adequate remedies for this.”
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