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Northern Ireland: Strike action suspended

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The strike action began in December 2019 The strike action began in December 2019

The RCN has announced the suspension of strike action in Northern Ireland.

In line with the governance arrangements of the RCN, the Northern Ireland Board has recommended that strike action is suspended pending consultation with RCN members in Northern Ireland. The detailed framework document received from the Minister will be put before the RCN UK Council on 17 January for discussion and consideration.

‘This has been a long and difficult road for nurses in Northern Ireland but following the unprecedented decision to take strike action, our members finally have something concrete to consider in relation to both the restoration of pay parity and safe staffing. The progress this week is testament to having political leadership in place following three years of standing still,’ said Pat Cullen, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland.

‘On behalf of our members, we would like to thank Health Minister Robin Swann MLA for taking seriously the concerns of nursing staff and for having the willingness to listen and take meaningful action in a short space of time. We know this action was also backed by our First and Deputy First Ministers. We firmly believe this movement towards a better and more sustainable health and social care service is because the voice of nursing not just spoke up but was heard.’

The first day of industrial action began on 18 December 2019, when RCN members working within Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland took strike action for the first time in the College’s 103-year history.

‘Nurses never entered into this lightly, but their hard work and difficult decisions secured real progress. They will feel immense pride at what they’ve secured for their patients and fellow professionals,’ said Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary.

‘Nurses should never have been backed into that corner and there are lessons for governments, politicians and employers everywhere that nurses will increasingly take a tough stand for what’s right and, when they do, the public are in full support.’

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