PNA ANNUAL CONFERENCE TOLD PAY COMMISSION MUST DELIVER SIGNIFICANT PAY MEASURES TO ADDRESS NURSING RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION CRISIS IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
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CONFERENCE CONDEMS LACK OF PROGRESS IN PROVISION OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND CONTINUED PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN ADULT UNITS
The current shortage of nurses in mental health services will only get worse, and services will deteriorate further, unless the current Public Service Pay Commission process results in significant pay measures for nurses, including pay parity with therapy grades the General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) told the union's Annual Delegate Conference meeting in Cavan today ( Thursday 12 th April.)
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said:
‘ The PNA cannot and will not accept anything less than a significant meaningful recommendation by the Public Service Pay Commission to address nurses pay and Conference this morning mandated the union to support a ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike, if those pay measures do no come from the Pay Commission.'
‘Should the Public Service Pay Commission fail to recommend remedial pay measures then the chance for this country to resolve this impending crisis will be lost for a generation with very serious implications for the delivery and development of mental health services and patient care.'
Mr Hughes said a ‘culture of emigration' has developed for graduating Irish nurses, and recruitment and retention into the Irish health services will only be solved by significant increases in nurses pay. He said experts already predict that there is likely to be a significant push to recruit Irish nursing graduates in post Brexit UK and unless there are improvements in nurses pay which close the gap between salaries here and those available to nurses emigrating to UK, Australia and Canada, then the Irish health services will lose another generation of nursing graduates'.
Mr Hughes said the scale of the recruitment crisis facing the mental health services is stark.