Almost half of the country’s 64,000 nurses and midwives have paid their regulatory authority the full registration fee of €150, it emerged yesterday.
The three nurses’ unions — the INMO, the Psychiatric Nurses Association, and Siptu — have been urging members to only pay last year’s €100 fee.
According to a spokesperson for the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) yesterday, around 30,000 nurses and midwives have paid the €150 fee for 2015. Fewer than 9,000 have only paid €100.
The NMBI meets today to review the situation.
A statement issued by the unions yesterday accused the NMBI of intimidating nurses and midwives to pay the fee increase.
Notices issued by the NMBI warn nurses and midwives that they cannot work if their name is not on the register. The regulatory authority also said a badge the unions were distributing to its members in relation to the €100 payment had no legal standing.
The NMBI said the badge was not an alternative to the registration certificate that nurses and midwives were legally obliged to obtain.
The unions complain that the NMBI sought to impose the increased fee without any prior consultation. They point out that the 50% fee increase follows a 12% rise imposed last year.
The NMBI, which is selffunding, decided in September to increase the fee to support its statutory obligations.
It said the fee had been kept as low as possible for as long as possible and that the increases were happening off a low base. “Admittedly, the increases have been in quick succession over the last two years but are unavoidable,” it stated.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved