The Health Minister says the overtime ban by psychiatric nurses is "not on" and must be called out.
Members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association began their indefinite action this morning, as the union claims there's been a lack of progress in talks with the HSE over pay and working conditions.
Around 15 mental health facilities across the country are affected by the overtime ban, which the HSE is warning will have a significant impact on services.
Minister Simon Harris says he's concerned about a trend emerging with trade unions, "I think we have to call out what's going on here because it's not on. We had a very proud tradition in this country of trade union representation - if a trade union was having a dispute with its employer it would use the industrial relations mechanism to resolve that row and if after that mechanism had been used and the dispute had not been resolved they might take action. We now seem to have a worrying trend where trade unions enter a process and in the middle of the process they think its appropriate to stage industrial action."
Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the PNA, says the government needs to offer meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute, "This needs to be taken serious, we need the government and the HSE to respond to this urgently and put some meaningful proposal to us that we can bring to our members to ballot."