Nurses and midwives have suspended their planned three-day strike action this week, following a recommendation from the Labour Court.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), the Labour Court recommendation ‘makes progress across all areas of concern to the INMO, including the key areas of safe staffing and addressing recruitment and retention problems'.
"After over 30 hours of negotiations at the Labour Court, the INMO Executive Council has agreed that sufficient progress has been made to suspend strikes and consider the Labour Court's recommendations.
"There is still more negotiation to be done, but we are at a point where we believe strikes can be suspended. Members will be kept fully informed and will have the final say in a ballot," explained INMO general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association has also suspended its planned industrial action
The recommendation by the Labour Court includes the creation of a new enhanced nurse practice grade, which would be at a higher pay scale than the existing scale, by an average of €2,000-€2,500. Nurses would be eligible to apply for this grade after four years of service.
The HSE is advising that outpatient clinics are to go ahead this week and minor injury units will be open. However, it has also warned that Emergency Departments are expected to be very busy and people should only use them if absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, over 80,000 medical appointments that were cancelled during the first three days of INMO strike action, now have to be rescheduled.