Kilkenny nurses to take strike action

Sian Moloughney


Sian Moloughney


Nurses and midwives at St Luke’s General Hospital and the Carlow-Kilkenny Community Services will strike at the end of this month.

Members of the Irish Nurse and Midwives Organisation in Kilkenny are set to take part in a series of nationwide 24-hour strikes - with the first strike on January 30.

There will be further 24 hour strikes on February 5 and 7, and then again on February 12, 13 and 14, if the dispute is not resolved.

The INMO announced the series of strikes on Tuesday in response to concerns about staffing levels and pay rates.

The INMO argues there is a serious shortage of nurses across the health service which is impacting both on patients and and staff. The union is also calling for a 12% pay increase to bring them into line with other health professionals, to attract and retain nurses.

Nurses and midwives voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action when they were ballotted before Christmas. Some 95% of those who voted supported strike action.
Pickets will be placed outside St Luke’s during the strike action, it has been confirmed.

The INMO will now begin liaising with services and management on the arrangements for emergency, life saving cover during the strike.

As well as St Luke's Hospital, Carlow Kilkenny Community Services will be affected - these include public health nurses and RGNs in the community.

This will be only the second time in the INMO’s hundred-year history that its members have taken national strike action, the last time in 1999.

The Psychiatric Nurses Organisation has also voted for industrial action.  They will refuse to work overtime on 31 January and 1, 5, 6 and 7 February. They will then escalate their industrial action to full strikes on 12, 13, and 14 February.