Cowen says government 'can and should' do more for striking nurses
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has said there are options available to the Government to help bring an end to the industrial action being carried out by nurses and midwives.
Deputy Cowen was speaking during statements on the nurses' and midwives' industrial action in Dáil Éireann today.
“The Government needs to realise that they can and must make some effort to bring an end to this dispute. The nurses and midwives are sick to their teeth listening to the Minister say he is eager to come to a fair and satisfactory resolution," he said.
“If he is serious about that then why not enter into discussions without pre-conditions? Why not take heed of the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions who has said there is scope within the public service stability agreement which would allow for a resolution and protect the integrity of the agreement?"
"Why not allow independent arbitration on clauses three and four? Why not engage in mediation using the expertise of Kieran Mulvey, a well-seasoned troubleshooter. This is the way to help get both parties back into the Labour Court."
“Today is the third day of industrial action by nurses and midwives and it is clear to see the huge public support behind them. The Minister talked about the significant costs that need to be recouped in health in order to pay for the National Children’s Hospital overrun."
“What he failed to mention was the significant costs which nurses and midwives incur, such as childcare, or rent, paying to fix a broken washing machine or to fill their car with fuel. These are significant costs," Cowen said.
“Next week’s three consecutive day strike is going to cripple the health service. A resolution must be found,” concluded Deputy Cowen.