Irish nurses suspend strike after Labour Court recommendation

Nurse Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nursing unions have suspended a planned three-day strike

A three-day strike planned by nurses across the Republic of Ireland has been suspended.

The strike, which had been due to begin on Tuesday, has been halted while nursing unions consider recommendations from the Labour Court.

About 90,000 patients have already had medical appointments cancelled during three separate 24-hour stoppages.

The strikes were called amidst a row over pay and staff shortages.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association and Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (Inmo) had called for members to halt work.

The Inmo union had requested a 12% pay increase, which would bring nurses level with other health professionals like physiotherapists.

Cabinet briefing

The government has repeatedly insisted it could not deliver such a rise as it would cost about €300m (£270m).

Inmo general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said she is due to meet the union's executive council and strike committee on Wednesday to give full consideration to the proposal from the Labour Court, the details of which have not been publicly revealed.

Health Minister Simon Harris welcomed the suspension of the strike.

The Finance Minister, Pascal Donohoe, said he would brief the cabinet on the cost of the recommendation put forward by the Labour Court.

The Health Service Executive said: "With Inmo nurses expected to fully attend at work tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, we will endeavour to do everything we can to restore normal services.

"However, it will be appreciated that this will not be possible in all areas.

"Our hospitals and community based services will make direct contact locally with patients and clients where services are restored."

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