Attn: All INMO Members
As we approach the Organisation’s annual delegate conference, in Kilkenny next week, there are a number of issues I would like to bring to your attention.
1. Annual Delegate Conference
The Organisation holds its 95th Annual Delegate Conference in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, from Wednesday to Friday, 7th to 9th May 2014.
At this year’s conference, which will again see over 300 delegates gathered, to debate policy and current issues, there will be a number of key events including:
- debate on over 50 motions submitted by branches/sections;
- election of President, 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents for the period 2014-2016;
the launch of the Organisation’s national staffing campaign which will seek the introduction of standard minimum staffing levels, underpinned by a systematic approach to staffing, managed by a supernumerary Clinical Nurse/Midwife Manager;
- this will include an address by Ms. Judith Kiejda, new South Wales Nurses/Midwives Association, who have recently completed a similar campaign in their State;
- first address, to conference, by the country’s Chief Nursing Officer, since her appointment as a member of the senior management team in the Department of Health;
- keynote address by Dr. James Reilly TD, Minister for Health;
Conference activities will be covered, extensively, on the INMO website (www.inmo.ie), including daily webcasts summarising debates/decisions. Please encourage all members to follow events, at conference, as all decisions taken will inform the Organisation’s activities in the coming 12 months.
2. Haddington Road Agreement
The most recent meeting of the union/management group (the Haddington Road Oversight Body), established to monitor the implementation of the Haddington Road Agreement, took place on last Wednesday, 23rd April 2014.
At this meeting the management side stated that they remain dissatisfied with the level of savings being obtained from the various initiatives, i.e. additional working hours, contained in the Haddington Road Agreement.
In response the staff side reminded management that all staff in the health service, including nurses and midwives, were fully compliant with the terms of the agreement and no further changes/adjustments to terms and conditions, including rosters, could be expected or would be agreed. In reply the management side acknowledged that the INMO, and all nurses and midwives, were fully compliant with the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement.
A further meeting of the Haddington Road Oversight Body, which is chaired by the Labour Relations Commission, has been scheduled for Tuesday, 13th May 2014. At this meeting management indicated that they will be bringing forward proposals to increase the level of cash savings currently being obtained, in some workplaces, under the agreement.
The staff side indicated that while management were entitled to bring forward proposals no further changes to terms and conditions of employment, other than those already agreed, for the duration of the three year Haddington Road Agreement, would be accepted by health service unions. A further update will issue, after this next meeting, to all members.
However, in the interim, members are again reminded that nurses and midwives are fully compliant with the requirements under the Haddington Road Agreement. Therefore any attempt by management, locally, to seek further changes or adjustments, including changes/adjustments to rosters, should be referred immediately to the INMO and no changes should be agreed locally.
3. Reconfiguration of IRO Areas
Arising from changes to management structures, including the ongoing establishment of six hospital groups and the reorganisation of primary care structures, the INMO is making some changes to the areas covered by some IROs. These changes are being made to ensure maximum efficiency, in the context of the reforms by management, to minimise duplication and to continue to deliver the most responsive and quality assured service to all members.
If these changes affect your area details of the alterations are contained in a separate circular, enclosed with this mailshot. I would ask you to copy this circular and circulate it to all wards/units in your workplace and display on noticeboards where possible.
Also enclosed in this mailshot, by separate circular, is confirmation that Mr. Edward Mathews has been appointed our new Director of Regulation and Social Policy. This follows the decision of Clare Treacy to move back, for personal reasons, to Galway recommencing her previous role as Industrial Relations Officer for that area.
4. National Issues - Status Report
As you will be aware, from previous mailshots, the Organisation continues, at national level and usually with the involvement of third parties i.e. the Labour Relations Commission, to seek progress on a number of very important issues. In that context I would remind you of the following:
Claim for Lifting of the Recruitment Embargo:
As previously stated the INMO is currently pursuing the lifting of the recruitment embargo via a claim which is currently before the Labour Relations Commission. A further meeting, under the chairmanship of the Commission, is scheduled for 28th May 2014. My colleague, Ms. Phil Ni Sheaghdha, our Director of Industrial Relations, will issue a further update, for the attention of all members, following this next round of discussions, on this critical issue, at the LRC.
Transfer of Four Tasks (Nursing/Medical Interface)
As stipulated, in the Haddington Road Agreement, the INMO, together with our colleague union the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), continues to engage, with management, at national level with regard to the transfer of four tasks, from Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs), to nurses/midwives. This would be in the context of additional nursing/midwifery resources and the restoration of the twilight payment (time plus one-sixth) between 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m.
Progress on this aspect of the agreement has been most disappointing. This arises from the abject failure, of management, to actively participate in the exercise including the measurement of the savings, in overtime payments, made to NCHDs if the four tasks were transferred to nurses/midwives with the appropriate additional resources.
We continue, again under the LRC, to seek progress on this issue and further meetings are awaited.
However, in the interim, it is vital that members do not take on extended role duties, including these four tasks, until this exercise is complete and agreement has been reached. If members, at local level, voluntarily take on these additional tasks it will only add to existing excessive workloads. It will also not be in the context of additional nursing/midwifery man-hours being allocated, to that area, and the restoration of the time and one-sixth payment.
In summary members should not undertake any expanded roles, where they are not currently in place, and any request to do so should, immediately, be referred to the IRO.
We are currently before the Labour Relations Commission, or engaged with the HSE, with regard to a number of issues, affecting our undergraduate student nurse/midwife members, including:
• payment for the 36 week rostered placement;
• issues arising from the graduate staff nurse/midwife programme; and
• minimise costs, accruing to undergraduate members arising from their supernumerary placements in first through third year.
It is probable that a number of these issues may go to a formal Labour Court hearing, in the coming weeks, if progress is not possible in the current discussion again under the chairmanship of the Labour Relations Commission.
Once again, a further update will issue, as the process, before the Labour Relations Commission, develops.
As can be seen, from the above, the Organisation continues to be very active, on behalf of members, on a range of issues, both locally and nationally.
The outgoing Executive Council continues to be very aware that the workload, on members in all clinical areas, continues to be excessive and compromises the individual registered nurse/midwife’s ability to deliver safe care at all times. That is why a major focus, at the forthcoming conference and over the coming year, will be our staffing campaign seeking minimum agreed staffing levels, managed at local ward/unit level, at all times.
Thank you for your attention to this circular and I would ask you to bring its content, via circulation to wards and display on noticeboards, to the attention of all members.
With kind regards and best wishes.
LRC Proposals for the PSA (Croke Park 2)