Trinity students are marching today in solidarity with nurses and midwives demanding better pay and working conditions, alongside supporters from around the country.
The demonstration follows unsuccessful talks with the government concerning nurses’ pay and three 24-hour strikes over the last two weeks.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Union of Students’ in Ireland have announced their support for the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in its ongoing industrial action.
Students gathered outside House 6 this morning before marching to the Garden of Remembrance to join the demonstration.
Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU School of Nursing and Midwifery Convenor Ida Lis explained: “A lot of us feel like the pickets/strikes aren’t being taken seriously by the government but they won’t be able to ignore this march.”
“It’s really disheartening to see that this has gone on for so long as no nurse or midwife wants to be on strike. On the other hand, the public can now see how unimportant our nurses and midwives are to our government because the only thing they’ve done so far is threaten to penalise them,” Lis continued.
In a statement on social media, TCDSU outlined: “After two weeks on the picketlines, the nurses and midwives union have called a national demonstration in support of the strike. With public support strongly behind the strikers, the nurses and midwives can beat the government and win their demands but maintaining that support will be crucial.”
A 2016 survey of student nurses and midwives conducted by USI found that 95% of those working in the field experienced stress, while 92.5% of those considered emigration as an option after completing their studies at third level.
Since January, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is mandated to support the ongoing strike action, as well as mandating the TCDSU President to coordinate TCDSU’s actions in support of the strike.
Speaking in favour of the motion at Council, TCDSU President Shane De Rís emphasised the importance of “making sure opportunities are there for our students when they graduate, as nurses in this country are underpaid and overworked”.