At Leaders’ Questions today People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith will raise the issue of the nurses’ strike.
She will point out: “The fact that six nurses salaries equal one Taoiseach’s salary tells us how twisted the Governments priorities are.”
She will point out that there can be no solution to the crisis in the health system and mental health services without paying the nurses properly.
“The nonchalant attitude of the Minister for Finance and Taoiseach to the gross overspend of the children’s hospital is in stark contrast to their stony-faced attitude to our nurses.”
The TD will convey the full support for her and her party to the nurses who have “taken the very brave decision to take strike action.”
The TD will say: “The Fine Gael government fail to realise that the crisis in the health services and our mental health services is a result of their disastrous policies.
“The pay and conditions of nurses and midwives are at the epicentre of the crisis in our health services. Our public health system is encountering a massive problem in recruitment and retention and there are very concerning reports of burn out and nurses being overworked.
“I read yesterday testimonials of nurses who were outlining their reasons for taking strike action. Stories of emotional distress, concern over pay and conditions and the injustice of the government’s management of our nurses was clear.
“What was also striking about these stories and from talking to nurses is their absolute dedication, professionalism, commitment and care to their job and to the people that they look after.
“There is no solution to the crisis in our health system without paying nurses what they deserve. Only then can we begin to recruit the extra nurses needed to open up the extra wards that are so badly needed, end the trolley crisis, end the overcrowding in our hospitals and end the capacity issues in our mental health services.
“The nurses have the full support of my party, People Before Profit, and they have dramatic support in the wider public. The government must climb down from their intransigent position, pay the nurses and end the crisis in our health service.”