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Psychiatric nurses end action after deal


Psychiatric nurses have ended industrial action in a dispute over compensation for assaults in the workplace after they backed a settlement reached at the Labour Relations Commission earlier this week.

The Psychiatric Nurses’ Association and Siptu said they would lift their ban on overtime and that all units affected by the dispute will be fully open by Monday at the latest.

Ater a meeting today, the PNA executive welcomed the breakthrough, which provides compensation of between EUR5,000 and EUR12,500 for "routine" injuries sustained by assault.

It also acknowledged that all nurses benefitting from compensation will retain the right to process a claim with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and/or the courts.

However, the PNA also urged health service employers to maximise safety, prevention and training measures so that few nurses will need to claim compensation.

PNA general secretary Des Kavanagh said: “We are pleased to have brought this campaign to a successful conclusion.

"One or two technical details have still to be worked out. However, as and from today the ban on overtime is lifted and all units closed in the dispute will fully re-open before Monday, at the latest."

Speaking after today’s meeting of the Siptu nursing unit executive, national nursing official Louise O'Reilly said members were happy with the deal reached.

“This is a groundbreaking scheme. For the first time the HSE has conceded no-faults compensation for psychological trauma. This is very significant for our members."

The range of injuries recognised as grounds for compensation has been increased from 13 to 52, and the compensation amounts have been increased by as much as 66 per cent, Ms O'Reilly said.

Siptu and the PNA represent more than 7,000 psychiatric nurses, and they had argued that the levels of compensation on offer under the HSE compensation scheme were far less than those set out under the PIAB system established by the Government.

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