12th March 2018
Please see notice issued by HSE HR further to a meeting with Unions. Several matters remain outstanding, however we will update you further after meeting with HSE on 14th March 2018.
Director of Industrial Relations INMO
Further to my notification of 1st March, 2018 in relation to the adverse weather conditions which occurred last week I wish to reiterate my sincere thanks to all staff for the huge commitment shown to maintain our health and social care services during the period of the severe weather.
HSE staff who attended at work on Red Alert weather warning storm days will be paid for time worked and receive time off in lieu. Staff who could not get to work or whose place of work was closed due to red alert weather warding will be paid as normal. A process of engagement between the HSE and staff panel has commenced and further discussions will take place on Wednesday 14th March 2018 to progress ancillary issues. HR will lead a working group to establish a clear protocol for dealing with future red weather alerts with a view to reporting before the end of June, 2018.
Thank you for your on-going support and co-operation.
With kindest regards,
National Director for Human Resources
8th March 2018
Re: Storm Emma and Protocols for Severe Weather Alerts.
A meeting between the Staff Panel of ICTU Trade Unions regarding the two matters above was held yesterday afternoon. The Staff Panel of ICTU Trade Unions was represented by officials from INMO, SIPTU, Fórsa, IMO, MLSA and Craft Unions. The meeting was convened with National HSE HR to cover HSE and Section 38’s following representations from the Staff Side. Management was represented by Rosarii Mannion, Head of National HR and John Delamere, Head of Corporate HR.
At the outset, it must be stated that management were fulsome in their praise for the heroic efforts of Members across all disciplines in maintaining services to our patients and clients throughout the national emergency.
The meeting focused on the following points: 1. The need to resolve issues arising for staff who were unable to attend work due to the Severe Weather. 2. The need for the HSE and Dept of Health to recognise the efforts of staff who attended for work during the period and maintained vital services. 3. The need for agreement on a national protocol which would provide guidance to the health service for future severe weather warning events.
After an extensive engagement the following points were agreed:
a) Regional HR and local managers will be instructed NOT to implement any local arrangements concerning the effects of the storm on work attendance etc. until agreement is reached nationally on all of the varied issues/questions which have arisen, which means that the previous circular on Storm Ophelia and future arrangements is in abeyance while discussions continue;
b) Having regard to the specific circumstances around Storm Emma, management will respond to the Staff Panel's proposal that the period under discussion needs to be agreed and requires resolution on the issues identified.
c) The Staff Panel will submit documentation to management covering the vast array of scenarios which ensued across all of our vital services within the Health Sector and management will formulate draft positions on each to be discussed at our next meeting; d) when we have dealt with the above, we will jointly concentrate our efforts on agreeing fair and practicable protocols for future weather alerts.
Our next meeting on these issues will be held at 11.00am on Wednesday, 14th March and a further update will issue to Members directly after that.
Staff Side Secretary
National Joint Council
Update 6th March 2018
There has been a considerable number of enquiries about how members who were unable to attend work during the recent weather event and those that did attend work should be treated.
The factual position is as follows:
Please note that we have also been contacted by members in Section 38 organisations such as St John of Gods and the Brothers of Charity where management locally have indicated that staff will have to take annual leave. I have written to the National Directors of HR for these organisations seeking that they withdraw the memorandum and adopt the terms applied by the HSE. Furthermore, the meeting tomorrow on the 07th of March 2018 is under the auspices of the National Joint Council and the section 38 organisations are represented at that forum by the Federation of Voluntary Bodies and IBEC. Therefore, the rules that apply in the HSE, we argue, should be applied in the Section 38 organisations.
I trust this is of assistance, I will provide a further update on Thursday.
Thank you for your attention to the forgoing.
Tony Fitzpatrick, Acting Director of Industrial Relations
Update 1st March at 09:00am
INMO welcomes Minister Harris intervention and confirmation that all Health Service staff who cannot attend work, or whose workplace is closed, will receive emergency leave with pay and will not have to make the time up. This is the common-sense approach the INMO sought yesterday from the HSE and we thank the Minister for taking this approach. INMO also welcomes the Minister’s confirmation that those who go to work will also be acknowledged. The INMO is meeting HSE next week in respect of this. So, for today and tomorrow, follow Met Office advice and stay safe. We know that INMO members are staying overnight in hospitals and hotels near their hospital to ensure vital services can be provided. For INMO members, and all other emergency frontline workers, who are making all efforts to keep services going, we thank you for your efforts, as always. You go beyond the call of duty and give a sense of security and pride to citizens during this difficult time.
4th year Nursing and Midwifery Interns are employees and are therefore entitled to emergency leave with pay in line with health service staff. You do not have to use annual leave.
However, interns must also achieve NMBI standards for registration by attending for required hours of clinical practice. It is important that you discuss this matter with your CPC, SALO, and Head of Department. It is also important to familiarise yourself with any local health and safety policy about adverse weather conditions.
For 1st-3rd years most schools would have an Adverse Weather Policy which would not require the hours to be made up under certain conditions. Again, link in with your CPC and if you need further advise please contact us.
Update on weather warning at 16.00hrs
INMO were contacted by HR HSE conceding that all staff unable to travel to work over the coming days when the Met Eireann red alert weather warning is in place, will be granted emergency leave with pay. However, the HSE also state in their email that this time will have to be made up before December 2018. INMO has responded welcoming the common sense approach to granting emergency leave in these unusual circumstances and have advised that we do not accept that emergency leave will have to be made up or repaid. Meeting to take place with HSE on March 7, on that issue. For now members are recommended to advise that you are availing of emergency leave if unable to travel to work due to the weather warning.
Update at 13:00hrs - INMO REJECT HSE DIRECTIVE ON WEATHER CONDITIONS
INMO have rejected the HSE directive dated 27/2 that staff unable to attend for duty, due to adverse weather conditions, should have annual leave deducted. INMO are very proud of all members who, have a distinguished and long history of making every effort to attend duty, in storms, floods, snow and major incidents, even when not rostered. This directive is indicative of an employer who does not understand the fundamental motivation applying to frontline staff and makes an absolute mockery of the HSE values of caring and trusting as expressed in the health service people strategy.
27th Feb 2018
You will recall that the HSE issued clarification on the 16th of October 2017 regarding health service employees who are unable to attend their place of work on Monday16th of October 2017 for safety reasons and those who were required to leave their work premises early on that date.
Confirmation was received from the HSE that those individuals would be paid for the hours that they were scheduled to work. The statement further outlined that those employees who nonattendance at work was a direct result of the unforeseen weather events were not required to take annual leave or any other form of paid leave in respect of the hours that they were unable to work.
Subsequently, we wrote to Rosarii Mannion seeking engagement with HR to discuss the issues arising for those staff members who attended work on the day. Also, in that correspondence on the 2nd of November, we sought engagement with regards to planning and agreeing a protocol for future events.
We can now confirm that HSE staff who were required and did attend for work to ensure that critical services were delivered, will have time or leave credited to them. The granting of this time or leave to the employee can be agreed locally and may be discharged over an extended period if necessary, subject to the exigencies of the service. This arrangement applies to Storm Ophelia only.
This addresses the issues we raised for members who attended work on the 16th of October 2017 regarding Storm Ophelia. However, in the correspondence issued by Rosarii Mannion of the 27th of February 2018, she outlines that in future events, for Health and Safety Reasons employees are unable to attend for duty, can be granted annual leave from their allocation, for the hours they were scheduled to work. We have advised that this is unacceptable.
We reverted to Ms Mannion outlining that the INMO does not accept this contention and the matter remains in dispute. The INMO with other unions on the staff panel will pursue this matter further with HR. A meeting is planned for the 7th March 2018.
We will provide you with appropriate updates regarding same.
Thank you for your attention,
Acting Director of Industrial Relations