The Psychiatric Nurses Association is to ballot its member for industrial action, up to and including a strike, over health service management's rejection of its pay demands.

The Health Service Executive and the Department of Health had told the PNA and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation that their demands for an across-the-board pay rise could not be considered as they fell outside the scope of the current Public Service Stability Agreement.

The PNA had sought what it called a "fairly substantial down-payment", coupled with a three month review to address other outstanding pay issues.

The union’s executive sanctioned the industrial action ballot at a meeting today.

It will begin next Wednesday and the executive is recommending a Yes vote.

The PNA said the recent Public Service Pay Commission report had failed to understand the scale of the recruitment and retention crisis in the mental health service and its member’s frustration at the continued lack of realistic proposals to address nurse recruitment and retention.

The INMO is set to commence a ballot on Monday of nurses and midwives for a series of 24 hour strikes.