Further backing for public pay deal

The public service pay deal is set for overwhelming acceptance as four more unions yesterday voted to back it.

Further backing for public pay deal

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) backed the deal by a margin of 75% to 25%, while the Irish Medical Organisation did so by an even bigger margin of 85% to 15%. The biggest acceptance margin of all came from the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) which supported the new public service pay deal by 93% to 7%.

The INMO said it will seek immediate engagement with the Public Service Pay Commission to address concerns regarding staff recruitment and retention difficulties in the health sector.

General secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said members expect that pay-related measures to address the recruitment and retention crisis will be brought forward and implemented during the lifetime of the agreement.

The INMO will also be insisting that the Department of Health and HSE implement their funded workforce plan for this year, which stipulates that all vacancies must be filled and permanent full-time contracts must be offered to all members on panels, and all 2016/2017 graduates.

Lower-paid civil servants belonging to the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) have also accepted the deal by a margin of 72% to 28%. However, general secretary Eoin Ronayne warned that if the economy improves further, his union would be seeking an early renegotiation of the agreement.

While the Irish Medical Organisation backed the deal by a margin of 85% to 15%, president Ann Hogan said members continued to have serious concerns about the crisis regarding recruitment and retention of doctors in public health services.

She said the lack of planning in relation to medical manpower had been exposed by an over-reliance on locum doctors and what she called the “scandalous” situation where almost 400 consultant posts were vacant.

Joan Donegan, general secretary of IFUT, said his organisation had negotiated additional and ancillary agreements and understandings at the talk and this had played a significant part in the outcome of the vote.

So far the following unions have backed the deal: Siptu; Impact; INMO; IMO; lower-paid civil servants belonging to the CPSU; IFUT; Public Service Executive Union; Prison Officers Association; Association of Higher Civil and Public servants; Medical Laboratory Scientists Association; Technical Engineering and Electrical Union; Veterinary Ireland; Builders and Allied Trades Union; Veterinary Officers Association; and the plasterers’ union OPATSI.

Only three unions have rejected it: The INTO; Teachers’ Union of Ireland; and Unite.

The result of the ballot by the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland will not be completed until October, but its leadership is recommending rejection.

Other representative bodies outside the Irish Congress of Trade Unions which still have to accept or reject the agreement include the Garda Representative Association, the Association of Garda Sergeants, and Inspectors, the Psychiatric Nurses Association, and the bodies representing the Defence Forces.

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