Updated: 08/02/17 : 06:44:36
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INMO to discuss next steps in recruitment and retention of staff dispute

The Executive Council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is to meet to discuss its next course of action in the dispute over the recruitment and retention of staff.

The organisation could also announce a date for industrial action.

RTÉ reports that INMO members overwhelmingly backed industrial action in a ballot before Christmas, amid frustration at under-staffing and ongoing overcrowding in hospitals.

The industrial action may include one-day stoppages, as well as a work-to-rule and nurses refusing to work beyond their rostered hours.

SIPTU nursing representatives have also said that they are no closer to agreement in the dispute, despite a Government commitment last night to recruit an additional 1,200 nurses this year.

The union welcomed the commitment by Minister for Health Simon Harris, which will aim to bring the overall number of nurses up to 35,043.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said Mr Harris had agreed to sign a ministerial order during talks between the unions and officials from the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health.

Mr Bell described the agreement as a positive development, but said the parties were not yet close to reaching an overall agreement.