Party members joined with UNISON trade unionists at lunchtime today in a demonstration of solidarity with Irish nursing and midwifery staff currently engaged in industrial action.
Belfast Party member Lily Kerr said, ” We are proud to be standing with UNISON members today to show our solidarity and support for the nurses and midwives in the Republic of Ireland and also to demonstrate our resolve to stand by health care workers in Northern Ireland”.
In Dublin, Party colleague Cllr Eilis Ryan said “In 100 years of trade union organisation, the nursing unions are going on strike for only the second time in their history. In a profession which is challenging, under-resourced and under-paid, this fact shows the scale of commitment which nurses and midwives have to their patients”.
The parallels between Dublin and Belfast are clear. Public services and the staff who provide them have been under funded, underpaid, subjected to privatisation and increasing work loads in both jurisdictions – to the detriment of patients. services and staff.
” I believe the actions of nurses are essential, not only for their own well-being, but also in order to prevent a further deterioration of conditions in our hospitals – something nurses are more acutely aware of than any Minister.” Cllr. Ryan concluded