Northern Ireland

Nurses' union confirms January strike dates

Nurses are on picket lines across Northern Ireland Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Nurses have said they will be back on picket lines in January

Nurses in Northern Ireland have announced their plans for further strike action in the new year.

Earlier this month, more than 15,000 nurses took to the picket lines over pay and staffing levels.

It was the first time in the 103-year history of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that its members have taken such action.

It has announced nurses will strike on 8 January and 10 January 2020, unless a resolution is reached.

During the previous strike, RCN nurses were joined by nurses from Unison and Nipsa.

"Nurses in Northern Ireland are angry that no-one appears to be taking seriously the crisis in our health service," said Pat Cullen, director of the RCN in Northern Ireland.

"By now, no-one in Northern Ireland, or indeed the rest of the UK, can be in any doubt about the inequalities in health care that people in Northern Ireland are facing."

She added while the RCN supported the restoration of devolution, nurses "deeply resent the link that is being made between this and resolving the crisis in health care".

Amid growing pressure to resolve the dispute, Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith has reiterated that responsibility for the health service is a devolved matter.

Earlier this month talks between the main Stormont parties took place to restore power-sharing - but failed to secure a resolution.

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