Industrial action by psychiatric nurses to end following talks

The Psychiatric Nurses Association has said an agreement with the HSE and the Department of Health has resolved a number of outstanding issues

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Psychiatric Nurses have ended their six week industrial action, following an agreement at the Workplace Relations Commission today.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has said the agreement with the HSE and the Department of Health has resolved a number of outstanding issues, and would end their ongoing work to rule.

Under the deal, 60 additional training places will be created for trainee psychiatric nurses this year with 70 additional places in 2017.

40 post graduate places will also be offered to nurses from other disciplines to train as psychiatric nurses commencing in January.

Extra nursing staff will be employed at psychiatric units nationwide, while all temporary nurses and all 2016 graduates will be offered permanent posts.

Nurses working part-time hours will also be able to increase their working hours without obstacles or objection.

PNA General Secretary Designate Peter Hughes said the dispute has been a "difficult process".

"PNA members have been determined that a number of outstanding issues on the recruitment and retention of psychiatric nurses had to be addressed by the HSE and Department of Health in order to ensure the provision of a quality mental health service," he said.

"Today’s agreement is hugely important for the future safeguarding of mental health services with an Implementation Group that will ensure delivery of all parts of the Agreement."

The Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Mental Health Helen McEntee welcomed today’s agreement. 

In a statement the ministers thanked officials from both organisations, as well as the WRC, for their work in negotiating the positive outcome.

The escalation of industrial action proposed to commence from 8.00am tomorrow morning will not now go ahead and all other industrial action underway since June 29th will cease with immediate effect.