The executive council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation will meet this afternoon to be fully briefed after talks between the INMO, SIPTU, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Health, and the Health Service Executive concluded late last night with no agreement.
INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha says that the INMO is “all for change” and the introduction of Sláintecare, but that the contract offered by the Government was “inadequate” and far from what the Labour Court had recommended.
She told RTÉ Radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that the Labour Court recommendation had been that there be a “clear focus on fixing the problem or recruitment and retention.”
The Labour Court recommendation had been that a new contract be agreed within three weeks, but Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that the “employer” had not met until the end of the third week and that what had been proposed “was way outside what the Labour Court had recommended.”
“We’re still not there. There’s still no indication that what they’re suggesting would be acceptable to our members.
The general public knows that we don’t have enough nurses.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that the Labour Court had given clear instructions, but what was being suggested was “way outside that” and there had even been attempts to introduce work practices that were outdated and would not be accepted by any other public service unions.
“The employer is seeking the right to make all kinds of changes. We would not put that to our members.”
Nurses and midwives should be involved in productivity measures and instead they were being pushed out.
She warned that nursing bills are going to be higher as the health service becomes more reliant on agency nurses.
The focus should be on recruitment and retention and on improving conditions, she said.
Instead the government and the Department of Health was focusing on a contract that in “no way” set out to fulfil the conditions set out by the Labour Court.
Talks between nursing unions and HSE to continue
Talks between the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the HSE ended last night without an agreement being reached.
They met to discuss the new nursing contract which was proposed by the Labour Court last month.
The INMO says the new contract aimed at avoiding further strike action would not be acceptable to their members.
They say "a very large gap" exists between what nurses and midwives want and what the HSE is prepared to offer.
Members' update, as talks on the new contract finish for the night (from 23:55, Sunday). pic.twitter.com/yeuEcSdadE— Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (@INMO_IRL) March 11, 2019
In a statement, the organisation said they believe the contract put forward does not fulfil the requirements of the Labour Court recommendation.
Nurses believe the proposals would actually worsen the recruitment and retention problems which led them to strike in the first instance.
INMO representatives will meet again today to discuss further steps.