Nurses unions have not ruled out the possibility of industrial action after recommending its members reject the Government’s pay proposals.
A total of 92% of nurses at a special delegate conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation has voted to reject proposals aimed at addressing staffing shortages in the health service.
As a result, tens of thousands of INMO members will be balloted in October on whether to accept or reject the Government’s proposals. If rejected, a ballot to strike will follow.
The proposals include a change in increments for some recent recruits and alterations to allowances for specific nurses and midwives.
INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said nurses and midwives are “deeply frustrated” with the health service and are the lowest-paid health professionals in Ireland.
Many believe it’s because they are mostly women. The Government’s proposals are simply not going to make a dent in the number of vacancies across Ireland,” said Ms Ní Sheaghdha.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association has also recommended its members reject the Government’s proposals.
At a meeting last night, the executive committee of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland decided to put the proposals to a ballot of members without recommendation.
It decided that members “should be provided with comprehensive information on all aspects of the proposal so that they can make a considered decision on its acceptability or otherwise”.
The union said the measures do not deliver pay equality and will not tackle the recruitment and retention crisis in second-level schools. It said irrespective of the ballot outcome, its campaign will continue until pay equality is delivered.
Details of the timing of the ballot will be confirmed in the coming days.
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation will not be recommending acceptance when its members are asked to vote in a ballot issuing next week.
The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland central executive council will meet first to consider a response. This is not likely until Saturday week, at the earliest.