The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has today (Weds. 20 th ) called on the Minister of State for Mental Health and Disability, Kathleen Lynch TD to intervene to avert the commencement of industrial action next Tuesday 26 th May at the Acute Psychiatric Unit of University College Hospital Galway.(UCHG).
Staff in the Galway West Mental Health Services voted overwhelmingly by 90% two weeks ago to begin industrial action in response to the failure of HSE management to address staffing and safety issues at the Acute Psychiatric Unit at UCHG where there have been 36 assaults on staff this year.
PNA Industrial Officer, Peter Hughes, said it was time for Minister Lynch to demand that the HSE address the serious health and safety issues for staff and patients at UCHG and avert the commencement of industrial action.
‘PNA have been highlighting the staffing shortage and the serious levels of assaults on staff at the UCHG unit for months and have been left with no option but to proceed to industrial action in an effort to get serious engagement on these issues from HSE management. PNA entered into Labour Relations Commission (LRC) chaired talks with the HSE in good faith a month ago only to have the HSE issue warnings of sanctions against ten nurses who did not take up duty in the Unit on Wednesday 22 nd April on health and safety grounds.'
‘There is still time for Minister Lynch to demand that the HSE withdraw these threats of sanctions against nurses and recommence talks to seriously address the unacceptable levels of assault and staffing at the UCHG Unit.'
Media Contacts : Peter Hughes 087- 2103514/ Derek Cunningham 086-2430535