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Taoiseach’s comments show FG tone deaf on industrial relations

7 November 2018

Statement by Senator Ged Nash
Spokesperson on Employment and Social Protection

Labour Party spokesperson on Employment, Ged Nash, has said the latest comments by the Taoiseach on healthcare workers shows how fatally inept Fine Gael is when it comes to industrial relations.

Senator Nash said:

“The Taoiseach needs to reflect on the comments he made about healthcare workers in the Dáil chamber yesterday.

“The root cause of the health crisis is not because healthcare workers are taking planned annual leave in the first two weeks of January, it is because there is a severe lack of staff at all levels in our hospitals.

“The comments made by the Taoiseach came as the main nursing union, the INMO announced that they are due to ballot nurses on industrial action over pay and conditions.

“These foolish comments show just how tone deaf Fine Gael are when it comes to industrial relations. 

“At a time when the dial needs to be turned down and when cool heads are required, the Taoiseach has instead decided to stock the boot in.

“Aside from making more beds available, the best way to help solve the crisis in our hospitals is to fill the vacancies that exist in our hospitals. The only way to do that is to make nursing a more attractive option to graduate nurses by ending pay inequality.

“Rather than getting his excuses in early by attacking hospital staff for taking the annual leave to which every worker is entitled to arrange, the Taoiseach and his government would be better off dealing with the main causes of vacancies in our health services with healthcare workers and their representatives.”