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Editorial - We are all better served by rejection

As you will know by now the INMO Executive Council has unanimously decided to recommend that members vote to reject the proposals on public service pay and transformation that emerged from the recent negotiations in Croke Park.

The reasons behind this decision are detailed later in this issue (see pages 6-9). I urge all members to carefully consider this recommendation and to support the call of the Executive Council to reject these proposals.

This decision was taken after a detailed examination of the proposals. It also followed a review of all of the important issues that INMO members have repeatedly highlighted in recent years. These issues include: maintaining safe staffing levels, ensuring best and safe practice, applying family friendly rosters and policies and the protection of pay levels.

In making this call for a rejection the Executive Council is also quite clearly saying that a no vote does not mean that we wish to escalate our current industrial action or move to strike action. Instead, the Executive Council is proposing to present to delegates at next week's annual delegate conference, together with the motion calling for a no vote, an alternative strategy of change for the health service. This strategy will have the patient at its centre and empower frontline staff to deliver safe care. Following adoption, by conference, and a rejection by members in a national ballot, we will then challenge the HSE and the Department of Health and Children to engage in discussions on our viable, patient centred alternative.

The INMO is therefore clearly saying that the current agreement does not provide the necessary guarantees in relation to pay, will fundamentally damage the fabric of our already ailing health service and will further impede nurses and midwives striving to provide safe care.

These proposals also require acceptance of every government policy in relation to health, the wider public service and indeed our overall approach to tackling the economic recession. This, despite the fact that we know that these policies are not in the interests of the society in which we live and the provision of decent public services to the ordinary citizen. Finally, they clearly state that if you do not accept the terms of the agreement then the government will have the right to cut pay or to introduce compulsory redundancies throughout the public service.

It is the firm conviction of the Executive Council that these proposals far from bringing continuity and security to our members, would, instead, leave our members exposed to whatever further changes, cuts and impositions that management wish to introduce over the next four years.

The INMO, on behalf of its members, wants the reversal of the pay cuts, an end to the recruitment moratorium on frontline posts, a practice environment within which nurses and midwives can fully meet the needs of their patients and a health service that, while giving value for money, is equipped and structured in a way which meets the needs of those it serves.

The agreement proposed does not pass these critical tests. It is not a fair agreement. It does not ensure the protection of the livelihood of public servants. It does not ensure the protection of a public health service which is a social good necessary for all civilised living.

For all of these reasons this Organisation is announcing an alternative plan which will protect our public health service. For all of these reasons we are asking you and all members, to reject the current proposal and to support this Organisation’s continued campaign to protect its members, the public health service and your patients.

Liam Doran
General Secretary, INMO

Editorial - We are all better served by rejection
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