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‘This strike can be averted’

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 5:04pm

The INMO is expected to meet with health sector management in a late bid to avoid an all-out workers’ strike later this month.

The Department of Health is set to invite the union to meet next week in an attempt to avert a first day of industrial action on 30 January, which was confirmed earlier this week.

Nurses and midwives will withdraw their labour for 24 hours on the day, providing only lifesaving care and emergency response teams.

Further 24-hour strikes will be held on 5 and 7 February, and then 12, 13 and 14 February, should the dispute go unresolved.

The decision comes after INMO union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in December after several failed attempts at resolving an ongoing pay and retention dispute with the HSE and the Department of Health.

A statement from the Department of Health said health sector management would invite the INMO to meet next week. It said Minister Simon Harris did “not believe industrial action is warranted, and could be avoided”.

A spokesperson from the INMO welcomed the potential meeting, the formal details of which had not been confirmed as of going to print, saying that the union remained open to working with health officials and hopeful of a resolution to the dispute.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “The ball is in the Government’s court. This strike can be averted. All it takes is for the Government to acknowledge our concerns, engage with us directly, and work to resolve this issue, in a pro-active manner.”

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