While the first day of strike action by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has come to an end, disruption to mental health services is expected today as members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) refuse to undertake any overtime work.
Psychiatric nurses voted overwhelmingly (95%) in favour of industrial action in December in protest of ‘the continued failure of the Government to bring forward realistic proposals to address the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing'.
As part of this action, they will refuse to work overtime on January 31 and February 1, 5, 6 and 7. If the dispute continues, they will go on strike on February 12,13 and 14.
Meanwhile, INMO members are set to strike again on February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14. Some 25,000 patients had medical appointments cancelled during the organisation's 24-hour strike on January 30.
The HSE is expected to start cancelling operations for the second strike day - February 5 - today.
The INMO is calling for an across the board pay rise to deal with the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing. However, the Government insists that this would lead to knock-on claims that it cannot afford, particularly as the country faces the repercussions of Brexit.
It also said that the pay claim breaches the public service pay agreement.