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Irish Nurses Strike Bulletin - May 2019


Members of the INMO have voted to accept the recommendations of the Labour Court to end their dispute.  The announcement of 
the ballot result came after a long period of consultation during which the trade union leadership, health service employers and the 
government exerted huge pressure for acceptance.  That there was still a 40 per cent vote against shows the degree of opposition 
to a deal that fell so far short of the original aims of the struggle.  Though the nurses strike has been defeated it is still important 
to examine its outcome and draw out the lessons for the wider workers movement.  As part of that we are republishing a number of 
articles that appeared during the course of the dispute. (editor)      

Contents

The nurses' dispute. Prisoners of the PSSA!
Without going in to the minutiae of the dealings within the Labour Court, (LC) or of the Workplace Relations Commission, (WRC) 
it is suffice to say that any initiative has firmly been removed from the workers in the workplace and the streets and diverted into 
the boardrooms of the “conciliation” machinery.  (read more)

Nurses contract negotiations
The leadership of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association, having decided to settle 
the nurses strike within the strait jacket of the Public Sector Stability Agreement (PSSA), settled on a time-honoured strategy of 
long drawn out local meetings and explanations in advance of a vote designed to demobilise opposition to the deal.  (read more)

The economic foundations of the nurses pay deal
Mechanisms of social partnership have been in place for over 30 years, regulating the pay and conditions of public  sector workers 
and of the workforce as a whole. In this environment the nature of Irish trade unionism has changed significantly. Many bureaucrats 
have never seen a strike and on the rare occasions that strikes take place they are followed almost instantly by a deal.  (read more)

Union leaders betrayal remains invisible for the left
When the Labour court recommendation was accepted by the nurses union executives the left alliance of Solidarity/People Before 
Profit put a resolution to the Dail which read in part:“Whatever the outcome, and the decision is theirs alone, this Dáil should understand 
that the issues that drove the nurses to take action will not be resolved by the offer.”   (read more)

Government, union bureaucracy put nurses back in their box
In antiquity Greek mathematicians came up with an insoluble problem called "squaring the circle”.  The term entered the English language 
as a metaphor for an impossible task.  Yet this is the task that INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha, alongside the executives of the 
nurses and midwives union and the psychiatric nurses union, with the support of ICTU, set out to achieve.  (read more)

The bosses case against the nurses
In the ongoing battle over nurses pay it is worth examining the arguments and strategy of the establishment. A good overview of that position is 
given by Pat Leahy of the Irish Times. He patronises the nurses. They are entitled to their feelings, but they don't see the big picture available to 
government and employers.  (read more)

Fighting for a nurses victory
One of the most useful things in any struggle is recollection. In fact one of the main justifications for organising in a socialist group is to act as a 
collective memory for the working class. Applied to the nurses struggle we ask: When did we fight a similar struggle? What was the outcome? 
Did we win or lose? What were the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign?  (read more)


                                  

Next edition - June 2019

 

Correspondence: Orange, green (and red) - 09/05/19

Correspondence: A sectarian election analysis? - 09/05/19

The crisis in France - Part One - 26/04/19

Northern council elections - 07/05/19

Dublin socialists must fight for a return of democracy to the city! - 04/05/19

Free Assange. Free Manning. Defend WikiLeaks. - 05/05/19

From people power to smiley face: the socialists and the elections - 04/05/19

The Limerick Soviet - 100 Years After - 20/04/19

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