Matt Carthy MEP: Show some respect for our nurses
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the government to respect nurses and midwives and engage with their legitimate demands for better pay.
Carthy, MEP for Midlands North West, said: “Today, Tuesday, nurses and midwives have gone on strike for a second time in their fight for fair pay and conditions. I want to commend these nurses and their union for their resolute action in the face of a government that is simply refusing to engage with their legitimate demands.
“The government’s statement yesterday calling for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission was totally disingenuous. Why would nurses accept such talks if the government had already precluded discussing the issue of pay? The government must come to the table immediately and without pre-conditions.
“Nurses are simply asking for fairness. It is little wonder we are experiencing a recruitment and retention crisis in nursing when their pay level is lower today than it was in 2008. On top of this, nurses are working longer hours today than they were 10 years ago.
“But they are not just striking for pay. Nurses are fighting for a better health service for all of us. People across Ireland know this, which is why their strike action has such broad support in every community.
“The Fine Gael government, supported by Fianna Fáil, has pushed the health service to breaking point, and this strike action is an indication of the stress the system is under. Nurses and midwives have been forced to take this action against the backdrop of a deteriorating health service and the worsening recruitment and retention crisis.
“The government’s cynical attempt to spin this situation to blame the nurses for the never-ending crisis in our health system won’t fly. This is the same government that casually dismisses the outrageous overspend at the National Children’s Hospital. Are we supposed to accept that the government can find a spare billion euros to cover this overspend but can’t pay our frontline health staff a fair wage?
“The nurses and midwives, and their union, have my full support as they fight for respect, for better healthcare provision, for fair pay, and to end the exodus overseas.” ENDS