Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has called on the Government to immediately enter into talks with the Nursing Unions in an effort to solve the ongoing pay claims and working conditions improvements required by nurses.
Next week sees potentially another week of strikes with another 3 days being scheduled to take place.
At the same time the Government fail to engage in talks with the nursing unions, nothing can ever be achieved by ignoring or failing to engage with those that have a genuine grievance, said Pat the Cope.
He argued “The Government’s isolationist policy on nursing pay is having disastrous effects on service delivery right throughout the health services, earlier this week we witnessed an attempt by the Government to stymie a debate within the Dáil on nurses pay until my party forced the issue and a debate ensued.
“I am getting extremely concerned that the cumulative effect of these strikes is going to seriously impact on those wishing to access hospitals, services or treatments. With over 80,000 patients already impacted by the strikes thus far any further strikes will have massive consequences.”
He said the failure to take real leadership on this issue so far rests fairly and squarely with the Government.
And he said the approach of the Health Minister and Taoiseach defies logic, it is as if they are wishing the strikes will disappear.
“But, in the real world and in political life especially – genuine claims and grievances such as what the nurses have must be dealt with as opposed to being ignored stated Pat the Cope.
“Incredible as it sounds this same Government is spending €1.4 million per week on agency nurses throughout the services.
“This could easily be redirected into mainstream nursing and services if the health service was properly managed by the Government. The greatest challenge in our health services at present is the ongoing mismanagement of the service by this Government.”
“Meantime, as of now the Government still do not know the extent of the claims being requested from the nursing unions due to the fact that they have not yet spoken to them.
“The announcement of the Labour Courts review of the Nurses claim is welcome but at this eleventh hour the Government needs to get down of their high horse and sit down to cross the table talks with the nurses added Pat the Cope.
He added that not for the first time has this Government shown its arrogance and isolationist approach to public services and the issues which directly affect the general public.
“I am calling on the Taoiseach, Minister for Health and their Cabinet Colleagues to immediately enter into talks with the nursing unions, that these talks talk place immediately and without preconditions otherwise our Health Service with either grind to a halt or collapse completely in the weeks ahead.
“Arm’s length diplomacy and failing to talk will solve nothing; the nursing unions have a genuine claim, an exceptional claim which is above and beyond any other profession in this state – the Government need to recognise that and open the door to talks concluded,” Pat the Cope.Tags: