The Irish Nurses Organisation has sent letters, to Ms. Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children and Professor Brendan Drumm, CEO of the Health Service Executive, advising that it has received legal advice confirming that the government cannot reduce the pay of individual nurses and midwives.
The Organisation has also advised the Minister and CEO that the INO will not enter into any collective agreement, which would reduce the pay of its members, nor will the INO enter into any negotiations which would have the potential to reduce the pay of its members.
The INO will now seek immediate clarification, through the ICTU, as to the agenda for any talks, involving government and the ICTU, planned for this week in order to clarify that they will not involve any discussion on reducing the pay of nurses, midwives and any other grade of public servant. The INO will be confirming that in the absence of such clarification they will not participate in any talks process and will reserve all of its rights to do what is necessary to protect the interests of its members.
Speaking today INO General Secretary Liam Doran said:
“We have received comprehensive legal advice and we are happy that any attempt by government, to reduce the pay of nurses and midwives, can be successfully resisted.
The Organisation views the attempts to attack the pay and pensions, of public sector workers, by IBEC, ISME and other parties, as opportunistic, antagonistic and unwarranted. It is also our view that this attack is ultimately designed to allow the pay of workers in the private sector to be reduced. Their constant efforts to take money out of workers’ pockets must be compared with their persistent calls for a vast array of financial assistance, grants and tax incentives for business.
The INO will, therefore, not participate in any process which seeks to comprehend discussions on reducing the pay (including increments, allowances or unsocial hours’ payments) to our members. We remain absolutely committed to take whatever action is necessary to protect our members’ interests in the face of any attack on existing pay levels by government”.