Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have, following nationwide workplace balloting, voted to accept the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020 by a margin of 75% in favour, 25% against.
Following a recommendation, from the Organisation’s Executive Council, to vote in favour of the proposed agreement, a ballot took place over the past three weeks.
The INMO will now attend the meeting of the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), on next Monday, 18th September 2017, at which the overall agreement now looks certain to be ratified.
The INMO will now seek immediate engagement on the recruitment/retention section of the agreement. This section provides for the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC), through the use of relevant experts, to identify all measures necessary to address the recruitment/retention crisis facing nursing/midwifery.
In the clarification, obtained, by the INMO, agreement has been reached that the PSPC will issue its first modular report, involving nursing/midwifery, in the second quarter of 2018. The INMO will engage with this process, insisting that this timeline is honoured including the commitment that the management side will sit down, within four weeks of the report being issued by the PSPC, to discuss implementation of all measures (including pay) recommended.
Speaking this afternoon INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:
“In recommending acceptance of, and voting for, this agreement it must be clearly understood the INMO will require progress on all measures necessary to address the recruitment/retention crisis which continues to haunt our health service.
In tandem with fully implementing this agreement we will continue to insist upon the Department of Health/HSE also implementing, in full, the nursing/midwifery funded workforce plan, for this year. This explicitly stipulates that all vacancies will be filled and permanent full-time contracts being offered to all members, on panels, and all 2016/2017 graduates”.
Commenting on the ballot outcome Ms. Phil Ni Sheaghdha, General Secretary Designate, said:
“In the hundreds of workplace meetings we have held with members, in recent weeks, it is clear that in accepting this agreement members expect that pay related measures, to address the recruitment and retention crisis, will be brought forward and implemented over the lifetime of this agreement. We look forward to engaging with the PSPC, in the coming weeks, if the agreement is ratified, allowing it to report in the second quarter of 2018.
“The government and health service management now have one further opportunity, under this agreement, to address our parity claim, with other degree level health professionals, and any failure, or hesitancy, to do so will not be tolerated by our members”.