Nurses and midwives are to be balloted on Government pay proposals in the coming weeks. Rejection of the proposals could lead to strike action.
At a special delegate conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 92% of those attending voted to recommend that members reject the Government's latest pay proposals.
As a result of this, tens of thousands of INMO members will be balloted in October on whether to accept or reject these proposals, which included a change in increment for some recent recruits and alterations to allowances for specific nurses and midwives.
The INMO insisted that these proposals would have no impact on the majority of nurses and midwives in Ireland, and would not help to solve the recruitment and retention crisis in the health service.
"Nurses and midwives are deeply frustrated with our health service. They are the lowest paid health professionals in Ireland, and many believe it's because they are mostly women.
"The Government's proposals are simply not going to make a dent in the number of vacancies across Ireland. Without a pay rise across the board, our health service will not be able to recruit and retain the nurses and midwives Ireland needs," commented INMO general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
She added that this will lead to ‘more overcrowding and pressure on staff, with patients suffering as a result'.
The ballot is set to take place during the first three weeks of October.
Meanwhile, the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has also recommended that its members should reject the pay proposals. They will be balloted over the next two weeks, and if rejected, members will then be balloted for industrial action.
Earlier in the week, the PNA said that it had identified 700 nurse vacancies in mental health services across the country. This is 200 more vacancies compared to last year.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.