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The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Tuesday 28th June) that nurses will commence national industrial action tomorrow (Wednesday 29th) in protest at the understaffing of mental health service across the country. PNA General Secretary Designate, Peter Hughes said that despite meetings with the HSE and the Department of Health and a further meeting under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) no adequate proposals had come forward from the HSE to address the issues of retention and recruitment of staff in the mental health services.

‘In the absence of adequate proposals to resolve the issues at the heart of this dispute staff have no option but to proceed with the first phase of industrial action beginning on Wednesday 29th June.’ ‘PNA have been warning for some time now that chronic understaffing in having an enormous impact on existing staff as well as patients and services throughout the mental health services.

Industrial action was endorsed by 87% of PNA members in a national ballot and we need more than acknowledgment of the scale of the problem from the HSE if this dispute is to be resolved.’ Phase 1 of the industrial action will involve non-co-operation with clerical and administrative duties, opening and closing buildings etc.

The PNA National Executive Council (NEC) will meet on Monday next to decide on the next phase of the industrial action.

Media Contact : Derek Cunningham 086 2430535