Nurses' pay is dominating the second day of the annual conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in Wexford today.

The union published details of an emergency motion which was to be debated this morning by around 350 delegates.

Nurses and midwives are seeking a non-negotiable increase in pay of between 10-12% in the forthcoming talks between Government and public sector unions.

The indications from Government are that an offer of about 6% over three years will be made for the public sector.

The motion says nurses and midwives want "parity of esteem" in terms of pay and working hours with other professionally qualified public servants.

The union says a staff nurse starts on about €27,200 a year compared with over €33,900 for physiotherapists, dietitians and other health colleagues.

Nurses are demanding full pay restoration and pay parity.

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said that if all public servants are to be treated the same, this will not deal with market forces driving nurses abroad.

Mr Doran told the conference that nurses want pay parity now from the pay talks process.

He warned that if this does not happen, he can guarantee that the Government will not have peace and stability over the next three years.

Minister for Health Simon Harris will address delegates tomorrow, on the final day of the conference.

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