Nurses to stage lunchtime protest in Sligo tomorrow (Tuesday)

A lunchtime protest by nurses over staffing levels and working conditions is being planned for tomorrow outside Sligo University Hospital.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation points out this is not industrial action but a public protest to highlight the challenges experienced by members on a day-to-day basis.

The protest is to highlight a number of issues, including what nurses say are unsafe staffing levels and skill mixes, as well as concerns over potentially compromised care.

Nurses have also raised concern over the impact these issues have on staff, such as missed or delayed breaks, increased work-related stress, and burnout.

The INMO says that despite meetings with senior management and, in some instances, referrals to the Workplace Relations Commission over the last number of months, to date members continue to report that working conditions are unacceptable.

There is also serious concern that retention of staff is becoming a problem.

Sligo Councillor Thomas Walsh says it’s an unfortunate situation that nurses now feel they have no option but take part in a public protest to highlight their issues.

Tomorrow’s protest is expected to start at 1pm and organisers say strict adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing will be required.