No proposal, no invitation: nurses’ strike to go ahead
The INMO’s second day of strike action begins tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8am, with busy picket lines expected until 4pm across the country.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“This is spin masquerading as substance. Government by press release is unfair and confusing to patients and insulting to nurses and midwives on the picket lines.
“Recycling broken promises is no way to build good-faith negotiations. The government’s press release refers to non-pay issues which are already agreed since 2017.
“The INMO previously referred the government to the Workplace Relations Commission to try and find a solution to this dispute, but the government failed to engage or make any proposals. Talks at the Labour Court sadly produced similar results.
“We have identified excessive costs and wastage in the HSE, which could be used to address the pay issues at the heart of the recruitment and retention crisis. But the government simply will not listen.”
Costs identified by the INMO which would be cut if more nurses and midwives could be attracted to work in the public health service include:
- over €100m spent in 2018 on agency nurses, used to fill gaps left by vacant posts;
- €10,000 - €20,000 spent per nurse or midwife recruited by overseas agencies;
- reduced durations of stay for patients associated with safer staffing levels.
The INMO said that none of these savings are included in the government’s €300m cost estimate, which would automatically be reduced by 30%-40% due to income taxes.
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