Tag Archives: Nurses

From top: Irish nurses and supporters in Sydney, Australia; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil this afternoon

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions.

Party leaders raised the nurses’ strike with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Mr Varadkar repeated much of what he said yesterday – that he believes borrowing money for pay increases is bad policy and that if one of group of State employees receives a pay increase, other groups will seek the same.

The 24-hour strike – the first in a series – began at 8am this morning while supporters of the strike have been using the hashtags #giveusareasontocomehome and #istandwithnursesandmidwives on Twitter.

Further to this…the following is one short exchange Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald had with the Taoiseach:

Leo Varadkar: “The impression created by some that there are more nurses leaving the country that coming into the country is not correct. The impression created by some that there are more nurses leaving the public service that entering it is not correct. And those are the facts and I hope you at least acknowledge those facts.

Mary Lou McDonald: “So, Taoiseach, then are the pictures of our young nurses from Melbourne and Sydney and all around the globe asking us, asking you to give them a reason to come home: is that like fake news? Are they doctored images? Pardon the pun.

“I don’t believe that they are. I think people know that yes, certain nursing staff would have gone for a year and come back but the reality now is that we’re losing so many of our best and brightest and they’re not coming back.”

“Here’s the other fact. There’s a strike on today. How’s that for a fact? Procedures have been cancelled as you’ve acknowledged. How’s that for a fact? Every man, woman and child in this land knows that should any of us get sick, or a loved one falls sick, you want the very best of care for them. All of us know that that’s only possible if you have the right  staff and you will only have the right staff if they are treated with dignity and they are paid and rewarded at an appropriate level. How are those  for facts, Taoiseach.

“What the nurses and midwives is very, very reasonable. And by the way, I know all about the industrial relations mechanisms of the State. You really don’t have to keep repeating that to us, as though we’re morons. We’re all well acquainted and well versed with all of that. I do not accept that you, as Taoiseach, that it is satisfactory or acceptable for you to passively sit on the sidelines whilst this strike is on.

“I’m asking you again on behalf of the nurses and midwives that I spoke to this morning, they said: tell him to engage. You are there Taoiseach, you’re the head of Government. They are asking you to engage. If you’re interested in sorting this dispute Taoiseach that this is what you will do and you will do it speedily.”

Varadkar: “Deputy, I don’t think you’re a moron. And I can assure you I’m not a moron either. But if you keep asking me the same question, I will keep giving you the same answer.”

Meanwhile…

Earlier: Alternatively

‘The Damage Is Already Done’

Calling Out Around The World

Up to 37,000 members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation are to go on strike on January 30, as well as February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association has also said its 6,000 members are also to take industrial action by refusing to work overtime on January 31 and February 1, 5, 6 and 7 February; before striking in full on February 12, 13, and 14.

They intend to strike over pay and staff shortages.

Ahead of this…

Nurse Maylena McEvoy (above) has tweeted about some of her experiences as a nurse…

Previously: Stricken

Escalating

(INMO) General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha (second left front) before a press conference at their Headquarters this afternoon

This afternoon

Nurses to strike for 24 hours on 30 January (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Minister for Health Simon Harris

When questioned by your paper about the massive cost increase for the new children’s hospital, Minister for Health Simon Harris wasted no time in taking the high moral ground and stating that he “will make no apology for extending our children’s care”.

With the decision today of 95 per cent of the members of the INMO to strike for a pay increase, is he therefore qualifying that statement by adding, “so long as I don’t have to pay staff”?

Regrettably, the Minister is all too quick to avoid any effort to provide justification to the taxpayers of this country for the out-of-control situation with the new hospital project.

Why does he provide a blank cheque to the hospital project while at the same time telling us that he cannot afford to pay the very people needed to operate such hospitals? He’ll stand over any cost – except nursing cost – really?

T Gerard Bennett,
Bunbrosna,
Co Westmeath.

Paying nurses and the INMO strike (The Irish Times letters page)

Rollingnews

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“I’m a nurse. I’d briefly like the chance to explain why pay restoration is so vital for us. It’s not a pay increase that we are looking for and in my opinion deserve. We are just simply looking to have our pay restored.

I like thousands of others went to college for four years and got my nursing degree. I finally had the career I dreamed of.

I got married to a tradesman. We got a mortgage for a three bedroomed house and we had two children.

We could pay for our mortgage. We had one family holiday a year. We had two cars. Neither of us had new cars but the cars we bought got us to our jobs and back home again.

We lived a normal life. Nothing fancy. But we got by.

Then the banks and the government decided to gamble with our lives.

My husband lost his job in the crash.

And I was forced to take on all the bills including the mortgage.

It was tough but I did ok for the first few months. We sold my husbands car for €3000. We tightened our belts.

Then the government decided to punish us even further for their mistakes. They introduced USC. Again we tightened our belts even further. My husband was getting the odd job here and there but his weekly wage was gone. We were struggling to get by.

Gone was the yearly holiday. Gone were the day trips away. Gone was the monthly night out for the two of us. We were finding ourselves becoming isolated from society because we couldn’t afford to be part of it any longer.

My husband was falling into a deep depression. He couldn’t get over the fact that he felt like he had let me and the kids down. He hadn’t of course but that’s what he felt.

As if that wasn’t enough punishment the government decided that because I’m a nurse I must pay PRD [Pension-related Deduction] . A tax that was only to be introduced as an emergency tax but for some reason we are still being forced to pay.

When they introduced PRD, that was the end of anything that half resembled a normal life for us. We were already at rock bottom but that destroyed us.

Santa suddenly hadn’t got a lot of money. Toys were second hand from charity shops. Food was bargain basement end of life food. And our mortgage? I just can’t pay it any longer.

I try to pay some money off it but the money that I used to pay for the mortgage is now going to pay USC and PRD. Anything I have left is going on paying for heating, electricity and the kids food and schooling. Our heating is one fire in the sitting room and hot water bottles and that’s it.

And now the banks have decided that they’re going to take our home. They’re going to leave us homeless. I’ve tried to talk to them but they don’t want to know.

I’ve tried to come to a deal with them to pay off as much as I can but it isn’t good enough. They are completely heartless. They want the house.

We are now going through the repossession courts desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, our little family home.

I eat a bowl of porridge before work to fill me up and look forward to beans on toast at 10pm at night when I get home. Sometimes I’ll break out and buy a banana to eat on a break but that would be very rare.

I’m used to being verbally and physically abused in my job. I’ll never get used to the ward being constantly short staffed and always overcrowded though.

Every working day is a nightmare but it’s not as tough as constantly going hungry everyday and coming home to see my husband a shadow of his former self.

The man I love so much who is a proud hardworking man I now believe is on the verge of talking his own life because of the cruelty of this government.

We were once just a normal couple going about our simple lives and now we are a very broken couple who are desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, the roof over our heads.

And so you see the €1000 pay restoration that I’m due in September 2017 that they are making a big song and dance about is buttons compared to what they have taken from me. That €1000 will amount to no more than €50 per month and I’ll have to wait almost another year for it.

Yet here I am hemorrhaging close to €1000 per month more in taxes than what I was a few years ago to bail out the very same banks that are now trying to bail me, my husband and kids out of our home. We now have to live on fresh air. We are poverty stricken.

That’s the thanks we get for sacrificing so much. He lost his job and I was forced to pay almost a thousand euros a month to the government in extra taxes.

How in Gods name could we possibly keep living?

Has our government even tried to help us save our home? Not at all.

In fact they haven’t even tried to stop the courts from taking our home at all and yet they are responsible for our home being taken from us.

Have they tried to restore our pay? No. Instead they are trying to lay the blame at our feet that if they restore any of our pay that we will put this country into another recession. How dare they. They talk about recovery non stop. What bloody recovery? The only ones I see in recovery are the banks and all the self serving politicians!

Not one of them have tried to help us and yet they’re happy enough to hand themselves pay rises of €5000 each. They make me want to vomit. Where are these TD’s and politicians?

Why aren’t they helping us as they were elected to do? Why aren’t they made to earn their big financial rewards? None of them care. Not one of them.

And so that’s my story about how life for me and my family has been since we were all forced to bail out banks.

This government destroyed us completely.

I’m a nurse. I’m no longer a proud nurse. I’m well and truly broken and I don’t think I’ll ever live a normal life again.”

A message sent today to Facebook page Support for Nurses, Midwives and Frontline Staff in Ireland, and posted this afternoon.

Earlier: Restoration Drama

Support for Nurses, Midwives, and Frontline Staff Ireland