Trinity students are joining nurses and midwives in a picket line outside St James’ Hospital today as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) demand improved pay and working conditions.
Students gathered outside House 6 in the rain this morning to travel to the hospital as a group for the second time in two weeks.
Today’s action marks the second of potentially seven strike days as discussions between INMO and the government remain stagnant, with Minister for Health Simon Harris offering to hold new talks regarding staffing and working conditions, but not pay.
Speaking to Trinity News on the first day of the strike, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) School of Nursing and Midwifery Convenor Ida Lis explained: “This is the biggest movement we have seen since we’ve started. We can only hope that this is the catalyst that results in change.”
“No nurse that I’ve spoken to wants to strike, but every day they are terrified of losing their registration due to unsafe nurse/patient ratios,” Lis said.
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”.
Around 50,000 people have seen appointments cancelled today in hospitals and community services a result of the strike, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The HSE has stated that only life-preserving services will be in operation during the strike hours. It is expected that teaching hospitals such as St. James’ Hospital and Tallaght Hospital are to provide only emergency services.