Cyprus Mail

Preliminary deal to end nurse strike (updated)

The government and public sector nurses on Thursday struck a preliminary deal to start a dialogue in a bid to resolve their differences and end industrial action that has caused huge problems to patients.

Strike measures will remain in place pending approval of the deal by members of the striking union, PASYNO. The agreement will be put to the vote on Friday afternoon.

The announcement was made after a meeting between PASYNO and undersecretary to the president Constantinos Petrides.

Earlier on Thursday, PASYNO decided to suspend further industrial action, a day after President Nicos Anastasiades announced the outsourcing of nursing services in a bid to tackle the problems created by the ongoing industrial action.

According to PASYNO, the decision was a “gesture of good will in a bid to find a basis for a dialogue.”

The rest of the strike measures will remain in place, PASYNO said.

On Wednesday, Anastasiades said the government planned to procure nursing services and outsource more cases to the private sector to mitigate the disruption caused by the 1,900 members of PASYNO, who have been on strike since March 15 demanding recognition of additional qualifications.

It followed the rejection by PASYNO on Tuesday, of a health ministry proposal designed to break the impasse.

PASYNO had decided the previous day, to escalate its measures by gradually withdrawing skeleton staff who were still working in hospital wards. That decision has now been suspended.

The gaps were covered by members of PASYDY and independents who chose not to strike.

PASYDY, however, had warned that its members were spread thin and exhausted. It said it would not accept the blame for any negative developments resulting from PASYNO’s strike.

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