Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has welcomed the decision by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation to suspend the three-day strike planned for this week.

The decision was made after the Labour Court issued its recommendations aimed at resolving the dispute over pay and staff retention issues earlier this evening.

Commenting on the matter, the Roscommon-Galway TD said: “I have always stated that talks are the only way to resolve this dispute. I welcome the recommendations made by the Labour Court this evening and hope that both sides can come together and reach a satisfactory agreement.

“It is shameful that in this country we are willing lose millions due to fiascoes, while – at the same time – we are unwilling to reverse pay cuts to nurses’ salaries.

“I am a believer that we can save enough in the current health budget to make sure that we can give a proper wage to nurses.

“Front-line staff – such as nurses, doctors, Gardai, firefighters, water service personnel and teachers – provide essential services to people and deserve a wage that reflects that.

“The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has been ducking and diving on this matter for the last number of weeks. Some of the language that has come out from this Government has been infuriating for the nursing community to hear – as Minister Harris and Leo Varadkar, with their PR gurus, try to justify why nurses shouldn’t get a wage increase.

“Sooner or later, this Government – including Minister Harris, Leo Varadkar and indeed the independents who are pushing the button to back this Government up – will have to come to its senses on this issue,” he concluded.

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