Nursing talks with HSE and Department of Health reach an impasse

SIPTU nursing representatives have tonight said that talks with senior management at the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, aimed at addressing a dispute concerning the recruitment of nurses and midwives, have reached an impasse.

"The management presented the unions with a paper that falls way short of our members’ expectations regarding the protection of nursing and midwifery services into the future," said SIPTU Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis.

"The HSE must revisit its position if it is to successfully reach an outcome that is in the best interest of patients and staff alike."

Talks will take place tomorrow between SIPTU and National Nursing Committee to decide their next course of action.

"Tomorrow afternoon, we will discuss the paper with our National Nursing Committee and decide what the best way forward is," said SIPTU Organiser, John McCamley.

"The debate and discussion over the last eight days was robust and it is unfortunate that we have reached this impasse. We remain open to further discussions on providing solutions that can contribute to making our public health service an employer of choice for every nurse, midwife and health worker."

At the talks, Health Service management:

  • Refused to allow Directors of Nursing and Midwifery fill all posts which become vacant during 2017;
  • Refused to guarantee that sufficient funding would be made available to allow the permanent employment of all Irish trained nurses and midwives graduating in 2016/17; and,
  • Refused to guarantee replacement of maternity leave vacancies on a one for one basis.

The INMO Executive Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to consider the current position in the context of the recent national ballot, for industrial action, in pursuance of initiatives to address the current crisis.

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