24th May 2013
Attention All INMO Members
I refer to my previous updates, in recent days, concerning developments, in relation to public service pay, culminating in revised proposals which have now been published under the title the “Haddington Road Agreement”.
In that regard the full text of these revised proposals, produced by the Labour Relations Commission, can be accessed by clicking here >>>>>>>>>. This document is somewhat repetitious, with many sections, so I would particularly draw your attention to pages 6 - 10 (general pay issues) and pages 38 - 41 (specific nursing/midwifery issues).
In recent days we have received a number of queries in relation to the exercise, which is continuing, with regard to the transfer of tasks, from non-consultant hospital doctors, to nurses/midwives which, within the current proposals, has been referred to as the ‘Nursing/Medical Interface’.
The background is as follows;
As part of the discussions surrounding pay savings, the INMO and IMO argued that the transfer of specific tasks from non-consultant hospital doctors to nurses and midwives, could be a vehicle by which doctors overtime would be reduced, resulting in savings accruing to the health service pay budget.
The tasks that were agreed were phlebotomy, cannulation and first dose medication.
An agreement was reached that this theory would be put to a test. The test involves actual recording in the workplace by NCHD’s and nursing/midwifery staff, of the time involved in:
- carrying out the three tasks;
- time delays in seeking NCHD’s to attend a ward to carry out the tasks; and
- the overall delay to the medical team when the NCHD is absent, engaged in the specific task.
Two Hospitals have been chosen to carry out the measurement of time involved. These Hospitals are:-
- Beaumont Hospital, Dublin; and
- Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore.
Three wards have been selected in each Hospital and a measurement exercise is on-going since Monday 20th May in Beaumont and Tuesday 21st May in the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore which are due to be completed on Tuesday 28th May in both Hospitals.
The measurement does not involve any change to work practice. It purely involves a measurement of time involved as set out above.
The fourth task that is being looked at is delegated discharge. The measurement of this particular task is confined to one Hospital, the Mater Hospital, Dublin. What is being measured is, the time involved in final discharge of patients requiring sign off by intern/NCHD.
This measurement exercise will commence on Sunday 26th May and continue until Wednesday 29th May. In addition to the actual measurement of discharge, information regarding the process of discharge and how it is delayed, how it could be improved, and the potential to reduce NCHD overtime as a result, will also be measured.
This information will then be collated and a meeting will be convened under the auspice of the Labour Relations Commission between the employers and the INMO, SIPTU nursing and the IMO, with a view to placing a value on the savings that have been identified. The INMO has sought the involvement of an independent financial assessor for this purpose. It is likely that this process of evaluation and interpretation will take some time. The LRC has advised that it is will be available to facilitate the parties in the week of 4th to 7th June.
It is agreed that any savings identified as accruing from this initiative will be applied to the terms and conditions of the members of the relevant unions involved. What this means is that if savings are accrued, those savings will be used in the first instance to:-
• supplement the nursing/midwifery workforce, if that is required, in order to facilitate the actual transfer of the specific tasks agreed; and
• offset proposed cuts for nurses/midwives and medical staff as set out by the government in its proposals currently being considered.
The nursing unions have identified the reinstatement of time and one-sixth for twilight as a priority.
It is important to reiterate that no actual transfer of tasks will take place until such time as an agreement has been reached and this will include an agreement on supplementing the current nursing/midwifery workforce where task transfer involves additional work for nurses/midwives.
Overall Next Steps
As previously stated the organisation’s Executive Council meets, in special session, next Tuesday 28th May to undertake a detailed consideration of the revised proposals which have now emerged.
Subsequent to this information meetings and balloting opportunities will be arranged, locally, commencing on or around the 5th June to be completed by Thursday 20th June, with the ballot count taking place on Friday 21st June. In addition to this we are currently finalising a detailed information/question and answer document, which will be inserted into the June edition of the World of Irish Nursing and Midwifery journal, and sent to every member arriving in the first days of June.
This matter is obviously receiving considerable media attention, at this time, as it is of critical importance to members and all public servants. In that regard it is imperative that members are fully appraised, of all the issues affecting nursing and midwifery grades, in the revised proposals, and the organisation is committed to do everything we can, in the coming days and weeks, to ensure this is the case before people ballot.
A further update will issue, after the Executive Council meeting next Tuesday, and thank you for your attention to this note.
May I close by wishing you, and yours, a very enjoyable weekend.
With kind regards.
This article appeared in the Irish Times on Thursday, 28th March 2013 and was written by our General Secretary Liam Doran on behalf of the Alliance of Public Services Unions for a NO VOTE.
LRC Proposals for the PSA (Croke Park 2): Report on the Impact of Proposed Pay Reduction Measures. For the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance Staff.
INMO Overview and Initial Analysis of the Labour Relations Commissions Proposals on the Extension of the Public Service Agreement.
The Labour Relations Commission has now issued the proposals with regard to a possible extension to the Croke Park Agreement.