The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is set to begin a period of strikes on Wednesday after last ditch talks at the Labour Court.
The INMO was invited to the Labour Court for informal talks on Monday, but after eight hours the talks broke up shortly after midnight.
It’s expected that the Labour Court will announce its position today on whether it intends to get involved in the dispute between nurses and the government.
The INMO is set to begin a 24 hour work stoppage tomorrow January 30, with further strikes planned for February 5, 7, and 12-14.
On Thursday, the Psychiatric Nurses Union will join the strike action by ceasing to work overtime, and full strikes planned for February 12-14 as well.
All told, the industrial action will see some 40,000 nurses stop work except for essential lifesaving care.
Roughly 15,000 patients face having hospital procedures or outpatient appointments cancelled as a result of the strike.
The strike is over pay and retention issues, which nurses say are responsible for a shortage of staff causing overcrowding and long waiting lists.
They are seeking pay parity with other entry level positions in the health service such as physiotherapists, who they say make roughly €7,000 more.
The government denies there is any general issuing with retaining nursing staff, pointing to the findings of a Public Pay Commission Report.
There is a reluctance to make any specific concessions to nurses for fear of undermining a general public sector pay deal.