• The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation claims 2018 was the worst year on record for hospital overcrowding.

    Almost seven and a half thousand patients waited without a bed at Galway University last year, making it the third worst hospital affected nationally.

    New analysis from the INMO said in excess of 108,000 patients went without hospital beds last year - a record high.

    The figures are a 9% increase on 2017, which was itself a record high.

    This is nearly double the number in 2006 (55,720), when INMO records began.

    It blames overcrowding on low capacity and understaffing.

    The INMO said it has asked the Government to work with it to try to resolve problems with recruitment and retention in nursing.

    It says this has not happened, and that 95% of INMO nurses and midwives voted in favour of industrial action.

    The INMO executive will meet next week to set dates for strike action.

  • A two day strike by ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association gets underway this morning.

    500 members will take part in the industrial action between 7am and 5pm today and tomorrow, in their ongoing row with the HSE over union recognition.

    It follows two previous strike dates on January 22nd and February 15th.

  • 500 ambulance personnel around the country are half way through a ten-hour strike this lunchtime.

    Members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association walked off the job this morning in a row with the HSE over union recognition.

    The dispute centres on the HSE's refusal to recognise the PNA's ambulance personnel branch NASRA.

    The HSE says engaging with yet another union will impair good industrial relations within the National Ambulance Service, while PNA members in the ambulance service are pursuing their right to be represented by the union of their choice.

    Back-up plans are in place to deal with emergencies during today's strike and army personnel are on standby.

    A number of PNA members are on strike today outside the Sacred Heart Hospital in Castlebar.


    The INMO executive has recommended accepting the Labour court deal in the nurses row.

    A 3 day strike, due to take place this week, was suspended after the Labour Court intervened in the dispute over pay and conditions on Monday.

    The Nurses and Midwives Organisation will hold a series of briefings acorss the country in the next few weeks with a ballot taking place between the 11th and 25th of March.




  • Community Employment schemes across the West will be hit by strike action next Monday.

    CE scheme supervisors and assistant supervisors are to go on a one-day strike, in a dispute over pensions.

    It's over a decade ago since the Labour Court issued a recommendation that an agreed pension scheme be put in place for community employment scheme supervisors and their assistants, but the Government has failed to implement the recommendation, according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who's now calling on the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to address the Seanad on the issue.

    Last year, the Dail passed a motion calling for the Labour Court recommendation to be implemented, but it has not yet happened.

    The Erris-based Senator wants the Govt to act immediately to reach a resolution to this long-running issue.



  • Over 100 staff at Roscommon County Council are staging a one-day strike today in a row over flexi-leave.

    In a statement to Midwest News, their union Forsa, says council management’s refusal to implement a flexi-leave scheme in the local authority has provoked this series of one day strikes, which are commencing today and are due to continue every Tuesday and Thursday. These strikes will impact on all council services.

    Forsa says council management has refused to halt its effective ban on flexi-leave in spite of two binding Labour Court recommendations, two Labour Court clarifications of its position and one Labour Court clarification of its clarifications.

    The union decided to take industrial action it said in the statement, after management refused to concede any progress in Workplace Relations Commission brokered talks, which have been going on for weeks.

    The Roscommon County Council CEO Eugene Cummins told RTE that Labour relations forums have backed his view that flexi-leave must be approved by a line manager based on the council’s business and operational plans.

    The council says the union is seeking an additional 13 days flexi-leave per annum, resulting in some staff having in excess of 50 days leave per year.

    The widely available flexible working scheme allows staff to accumulate an extra day per month – up to 13 days per year – by working additional hours during a normal week.

    Mr Cummins said this morning that if there is a defined business staff can work additional hours and those hours can be transferred into flexi-leave, but to date the problem has been that staff have been generating this leave without permission or purpose, rather than to suit the business needs.

    He said he wants to manage that process more effectively to ensure business continuity is maintained and it can be better audited.

    Padraig Mulligan is a Forsa official and told Midwest News today that this action will continue unless a compromise is reached.

  • Pickets are to be placed at Lloyds Pharmacy outlets in various parts of the country today by Mandate members.

    The union represents 2 hundred and 70 of the company's 9 hundred and 30 staff.

    About 20 stores across Dublin will be affected, as well as outlets in Mullingar, Wicklow Town, Wexford and Sligo, however, a spokesperson for the pharmacy says all its stores remain open.

  • PNA ambulance members are staging a second day of strike action today.

    Over 500 ambulance personnel - including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians, have walked off the job from 7am this morning until 5 pm this evening in a row over union recognition.

    The HSE has previously stated that they already recognise a number of unions representing ambulance workers, and it believes recognising further organisations will not be good for good industrial relations.

    NASRA members are planning further strike action on Thursday the 28th of February and Friday the 1st of March.

  • For the second day in a row, strike action is underway by ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association is underway.

    500 members of the PNA's NASRA branch - including emergency medical technicians, paramedics and advanced paramedics - are taking to the picket lines in a row with the HSE over union recognition.

    General Secretary of the PNA, Peter Hughes, says members have been left with no other choice but to continue striking.

    The strike continues until 5 o'clock this evening.



  • Workers in Section 39 organisations – including Western Care, Ability West and Rehab – have deferred the strike action which was scheduled for this Wednesday, following an agreement facilitated by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), to begin a process that it is hoped will lead to the restoration of pay for thousands of health and social care workers.

    SIPTU has welcomed the news and said that, after months of intense campaigning, they have  secured a viable process for a structured and transparent pay restoration mechanism for thousands of Section 39 workers.

    The Health Minister Simon Harris has also welcomed the deferral of industrial action, and says he’s pleased that services will not be disrupted.

    The HSE will carry out an analysis, with an interim report expected by the end of March.

  • Staff at Roscommon County Council are holding a fourth day of strike action today, in a dispute over flexi time working.

    It comes after the council was criticised for its approach to the issue, by the NOAC - the oversight body for local authorities.

    The strikes are organised by the Fórsa trade union, and are being supported by SIPTU.

    The NOAC has recommended that unions suspend industrial action if Roscommon County Council allows 'family friendly' working practices.

    Peter Nolan from the workers' union Fórsa believes the council must now respond.

  • Tesco staff in Sligo are scheduled to strike today in a row over working conditions.

    Management say the store will remain open during any action.

    The union Mandate has also announced two more stoppages, planned for next Friday and Saturday.

    Workers from Tesco in Carrick-on-Shannon will also strike next Saturday.

  • Tesco staff in Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon will go on strike today in a row over pay and conditions.

    This is the third time staff in Sligo have walked off the job this year, while it is the first time in Carrick-on-Shannon.

    Mandate Trade Union claims Tesco has not engaged with them in an effort to resolve the dispute.

    In a statement Tesco Ireland says they are extremely disappointed that Mandate is proceeding with strike action at our Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon stores today. The statement says despite the strikes, the stores will remain open today and they thanked their colleagues and customers for their co-operation.

    The statement says Mandate should revisit its decision to refuse to take up the offer from the WRC for a conciliation conference on Sligo which was originally scheduled for October 24th. In Carrick-on-Shannon the local issues have not yet even been referred back to the WRC by Mandate indicating these strikes are pre-emptive.

    Tesco says they remain committed to resolving this dispute.  They requested that Mandate, even at this late stage, desist from the industrial action and refer these issues back to the WRC where we are willing to engage with the union.  They say Mandate should return to the agreed norms in industrial relations as is provided for in our current agreement and call off this unnecessary and damaging action.

    Tesco Ireland says they reject Mandate’s claims that the union is left with no option but to have strikes in Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon or that it is Tesco’s failure to follow and implement agreed collective procedures.  It is in fact the complete opposite they say,and  they remain committed to the State’s industrial relations machinery.  

    They say they regret this action by Mandate and the disruption inflicted on their colleagues, customers and to other businesses in the two towns by these unjustified strikes.  It is particularly disappointing action by Mandate for these close-to-the-Border towns in the run up to Christmas.

    It is unfathomable that Mandate is taking this approach when Tesco fully respects our colleagues’ right to choose to be represented by a trade union, unlike many other retail stores and businesses this Christmas who do not recognise or engage with Mandate.


  • Strike action by Irish Ryanair pilots is underway for a fifth day - coinciding with industrial action across Europe.

    They're picketing the airline's HQ in Dublin - while pilots in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium will also walk off the job for 24 hours.

    The company has been forced to cancel almost 400 flights - affecting 25 thousand passengers

    Bernard Harbor from the FORSA trade union says his members are determined to secure their demands.

  • The industrial action at Roscommon county council has been called off.

    RTÉ  is reporting that the terms of a resolution have been agreed to end industrial action over flexi-leave at the  local authority.

    Over 160 staff members had been staging two days of strike action per week over the last two weeks since the dispute began over the refusal of management at the council to approve time off for employees who said they wanted to build it up for family and other engagements.

    Yesterday, another 50 SIPTU members voted to join the strike but talks that took place at the Workplace Relations Commission in Dublin have led to a deal that will end the dispute.

  • Thousands of hospital staff around the country are expected to announce today their intention to strike.

    SIPTU has been balloting workers in health-service support grades in 36 hospitals, in a dispute over pay.

    The result of the vote will be revealed this morning.

    Paul Bell, the union's health division organiser, says a strike looks very likely:

  • There are no signs of a let up in the industrial dispute at Ryanair.

    Dublin based pilots will stage a fourth day of action tomorrow.

    Belgium and Sweden have announced they will strike tomorrow week.

    While unions for German and Dutch based pilots have suggested they'll co-ordinate their action to take place on the same day.

    Tomorrow’s action will have no impact on any flights into or out of Ireland West Airport Knock.

  • Two days of industrial action by ambulance personnel who are members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association gets underway tomorrow morning. 

    Over 500 PNA ambulance branch members including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians will take to the picket line from 7am to 5pm on Thursday and Friday.

    This is the third day of strike action by ambulance personnel, as they call on the HSE to agree to recognise the PNA as their union of choice.