NURSES' STRIKE THREAT
Sir. Mr Stephen McMahon and Dr Tony O'Sullivan of the Irish Patients' Association, in their letter of December 5th. recommend that nurses should not contemplate strike action, and suggest that they should ask their unions to continue negotiations on their behalf. I believe that the Irish Patients' Association will become an important factor in the improvement of Irish health care, but I regret that it has taken this view.
The nurses' unions recommended to their members that they should accept the latest paltry offer, and this recommendation was overwhelmingly rejected by the nurses. Negotiations have not been successful, and as a result they may have to resort to strike action to obtain what is their due. It could be suggested that it is because of the reluctance of these dedicated people to withdraw their services, that their incomes remain so low.
Mr McMahon and Dr O'Sullivan state that the nurses' role in health care is of "fundamental importance." For this reason they should be offered a decent renumeration, and not have to threaten to go on strike for a settlement that reflects this importance. - Yours, etc.,