‘Give us a reason to come home’: Irish nurses hold rally at Sydney Opera House

Group stages action to show support for nurses’ strike in January over pay and conditions

A group of Irish nurses and midwives working in Australia gathered at the Sydney Opera House to voice their support for INMO colleagues who strike in Ireland on January 30th. Video: Laura Phillips / Stand With Nurses And Midwives

 

More than 250 Irish nurses gathered at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday to urge the Irish Government to increase pay and “give us a reason to come home.”

The group in Australia came out to show its support for nurses and midwives in Ireland who are going on strike on January 30th over pay and conditions.

Irish nurse Laura Phillips said the pay in Ireland is “not competitive” and that hundreds of Irish-trained nurses working in Australia will not come home until salaries improve.

In a video posted to her Facebook page, Ms Phillips said: “Today over 250 Irish nurses working in Sydney stand together to send a message of support to all Irish nurses and midwives on the upcoming strike on January 30th.

“We stand with the IMNO and the PNA [Psychiatric Nurses Association] who are fighting for us. We will not come home until our skills are recognised and we are paid equally with other allied health professionals.

“It’s not competitive pay rates that Ireland is offering and therefore there is a recruitment crisis in Ireland. At the end of the day, this directly affects patient safety and that’s why we are here.

“So we send a message to Leo, Simon and all the Irish government, ‘give us a reason to come home’,” she said.

Up to 43,000 Irish nurses and midwives will go on strike for 24 hours on January 30th, with further 24-hour strikes planned on February 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th, and 14th.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has ruled out what he says is effectively a 12 per cent pay increase for nurses, claiming it could trigger a spate of public service strikes by other public workers looking for a wage hike.