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Nurses and midwives to hold 24 hour strike on January 30

Nurses and midwives will go on strike on January 30 for 24 hours.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has warned that if the dispute over pay and staffing levels remains unresolved there will be further 24 hour strikes on February 5 and February 7 and then February 12, 13 and 14.

The strike will see INMO members withdraw their labour for the 24 hours providing only life-saving care and emergency response teams.

The union is legally required to give one week's notice but said it has given three weeks to allow for safety planning.

The strikes centre on low wages as well as recruitment and retention problems.

The Government has repeatedly ruled out granting the 12% pay rise sought by nurses and says there would be knock-on claims across the public sector.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Going on strike is the last thing a nurse or midwife wants to do. But the crisis in recruitment and retention has made it impossible for us to do our jobs properly. We are not able give patients the care they deserve under these conditions.

“The HSE simply cannot recruit enough nurses and midwives on these wages. Until that changes, the health service will continue to go understaffed and patient care will be compromised.

“The ball is in the government’s court. This strike can be averted. All it takes is for the government to acknowledge our concerns, engage with us directly, and work to resolve this issue, in a pro-active manner.

“We were due to meet with the government in the national oversight body in December, but the meeting was cancelled. Like many patients in Ireland’s health service, we are still waiting for an appointment.”

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD said he does not believe that industrial action is warranted and said that it could be avoided.

In a statement released by the Health Minister, he said: "there is a clear need for engagement and it is essential...that all sides find a resolution to this dispute."

Health sector management will invite the INMO to meet with them next week.

Additional reporting by Digital Desk