• 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.

  • Over 500 ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), including members in this region, will strike for 24 hours from 2 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, 19th July) in pursuit of their demand for the right to be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice

    This is the second 24-hour PNA ambulance branch strike throughout the country, involving paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians, and will remain in place until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

    Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary told Midwest News today that his members are not prepared to surrender their right to be members of, and represented by the union of their choice. 

  • 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.

  • Fianna Fáil is  calling for last-minute talks to prevent speed-camera staff going on strike this  Bank Holiday weekend.

    More than half of Go Safe's vans will be off the road for 72 hours from tomorrow (Sat) morning at 9 o'clock.

    It's the second round of industrial action, in a row over working conditions and union recognition.

    Fianna Fáil's transport spokesman, Sligo based Marc MacSharry, is urging both sides to come to a resolution today.


    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.




  • Many second level schools across the region will be closed to students today as teachers members of the TUI take industrial action over a two tier pay system

    Almost 400 schools nationally are closed.

    The Teachers Union of Ireland, which represents the secondary and third level teachers, wants new entrants teachers paid the same as their colleagues.

    However, according to the Irish Independent, pupils could be hit by more strikes before the school year is out.

    The Vice President of Teacher's Union, Martin Marjoram, says further action could be on the cards.

    Details of schools that are closed today will have been communicated to the parents and students effected

  • 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.



  • A Mayo TD is calling on the Ministers for Health & Finance to work with SIPTU to try and avoid tomorrow' strike by health support staff.

    10,000 hospital staff will take part in a 24-hour strike tomorrow, with further strikes planned for the coming weeks, in a row over pay.

    Healthcare assistants, porters and catering staff are among the SIPTU workers taking the action.

    Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon University Hospitals will be impacted by the strike, as well as Merlin Park and Portiuncla Hospitals.

    Thousands of patients scheduled for surgery could have their appointments cancelled tomorrow, and there are also fears that some hospitals won't be able to provide regular meals and hot food to patients.

    The HSE says contingency plans are in place, but warns the strike will have a significant impact on services if it goes ahead.

    Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers says the hospital support staff are frustrated, because the Government is failing to follow through on a commitment made in advance of carrying out a job evaluation scheme.


    And Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has also called for the implementation of pay agreements for the hospital support staff, who she says "hold our health service together".

    Senator Conway-Walsh says these workers are on some of the lowest wages within the healthcare system, and should not have to wait so long for pay that's due to them.





  • 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.



  • Ambulance members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) will protest at Leinster House, tomorrow (Thurs) from 12.30 pm. to 2.30 pm. in their continuing campaign for the right to join, and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice.

    PNA has also announced that over 500 PNA ambulance branch members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) will hold a further 24-hour national strike on Friday 19th July from 7am  to 7 am Saturday 20th July. 

    Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary, said ambulance personnel members are determined that Oireachtas members will hear a very clear message before the Dail summer recess.

    ‘The message is unchanged”, he explained, “ambulance personnel, who established their own branch within the PNA ten years ago, demand the right to be members of PNA as the union of their choice and will not be forced by the HSE to join another union”

    He is calling on the new HSE Director General , Paul Reid to bring this dispute to an end finally and allow ambulance personnel members of the PNA to get on with providing vital services.    

  • There could be a backlog at A&E departments across the country later today as ambulance workers from the Psychiatric Nurses Association go on strike from 2pm this afternoon.

    500 ambulance staff, are staging a 24 hour walkout as part of a union recognition row.

    The workers insist they won't be backing down, and have threatened more strikes if their demands aren't met.

    The PNA's Tony Gregg says the industrial action will cause problems at hospitals.

  • The High Court will hear an application from Ryanair today for an order to prevent this week's pilot strikes.

    180 Irish-based pilots are due to walk off the job on Thursday and Friday.

    The airline says the timing,right in the middle of school holidays, is aimed to cause maximum disruption to passengers.

    However, the union has said pilots feel they've been forced into the industrial action.

  • 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.

  • SIPTU Health representatives have accepted an invitation to attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) tomorrow (Thursday, 27th June) at 10.30 am to discuss the dispute involving 10,000 health service workers over the implementation of a job evaluation scheme.

    The union’s Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell told Midwest News this evening that they have accepted the invitation from the WRC to attend talks tomorrow.

    The 24 hour strike will continue today, he said, and the planned three days of strike action due to take place next week (on 2nd, 3rd and 4th July) will proceed if the dispute is not resolved.

    He added that SIPTU is greatly encouraged by the huge turnout of members on picket lines at 38 hospitals across the country today and “appreciates the support of the public, including patients and visitors to the hospitals, and of colleagues in the health service.”

  • Tomorrow's strike by 10,000 health support workers will go ahead, in their pay-dispute with government.

    Talks between SIPTU, the HSE and Department of Public Expenditure ended last evening without agreement.

    It means healthcare assistants, chefs, porters, cleaners and theatre staff will be among those to down tools from 8am tomorrow morning for 24 hours.

    The strike will result in the cancellation of a number of scope procedures and some elective procedures, as well as some outpatient appointments.

    Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway University Hospitals will be affected, as well as Merlin Park and Portiuncla Hospitals.

    The HSE says the strike will have a significant impact on services, with some procedures either having to be deferred or cancelled.

  • 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.