Strike-ready INMO to mull over HSE offer

Nursing representatives have received a list of proposals from the HSE in a bid to stave off industrial action.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has been embroiled in a dispute with the HSE over staff shortages, retention, and recruitment and has threatened industrial action if the issue is not properly addressed.

One-day stoppages remain on the cards after 90% of the membership of the INMO voted in favour of industrial action before Christmas.

However, the INMO deferred on making a decision as to when it will begin its planned strike action after it began talks with the HSE and Government officials. The INMO is to go through the proposals over the week-end before re-entering talks with the HSE, Department of Health, and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on Monday.

INMO secretary general Liam Doran said: “We will be deliberating on the basis of what is in this document and that will impact on what progress is made next week. I would imagine there will be discussion for a number of days next week but you never know.”

Nursing representatives have demanded “special measures” to address the loss of nursing/midwifery posts in recent years, and the impact of this upon workloads, morale, and the health and safety of nurses and midwives.

A HSE spokeswoman said: “The HSE will not be making any further statement until such time as the INMO has had time to consider the proposals.”

Separately, around 17,000 members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) will have until February 1 to vote on proposals around pay, conditions, and Junior Cycle reform put forward by Education Minister Richard Bruton. Its 180-member executive committee recommend members reject the proposals.

If the ASTI does vote down the deal, members will continue with the withdrawal of the 33 Croke Park hours and could also go ahead with strike action over pay for recently qualified teachers. The action would have a similar consequence as the withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties by ASTI members last term, which closed 500 schools for up to three days.

If necessary, the union is also willing to ballot principals or acting principals to refuse to co-operate with any request to identify teachers for redundancies.

In the event of an ASTI member being made redundant as a result of the redeployment scheme being withdrawn from ASTI members, ASTI will ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike.

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