I am writing to update you on negotiations with the government on the new salary scale and contract. For context, when we suspended the strike, part of the Labour Court recommendation involved a new, higher pay scale with a new contract. The Labour Court set out that we should negotiate this new contract over a three-week period.
On day one, the government proposed a draft contract which we immediately rejected, as it would considerably worsen your terms of employment. That is not acceptable to the INMO.
We engaged in negotiations throughout last week. In those talks, our focus was on removing the unacceptable contract terms.
While we made some progress, there were some serious issues – particularly around rostering and workplace locations – which we could not accept, so talks became deadlocked.
We have consistently said that new contracts are an opportunity to modernise our practice – not to worsen our conditions and have refused to accept contracts which would lead to poorer conditions. This dispute has always been about recruitment and retention – a bad contract will only make such problems worse.
As talks were deadlocked, we called an extraordinary meeting of your elected Executive Council to decide the next steps.
They have decided two things:
First, that the INMO will go back before the Labour Court to firmly make the case against what the government is proposing in this contract. This will allow the Court to examine the disputed clauses. The employers have also indicated that they will attend.
Second, that balloting will be postponed for two weeks, so that members will be able to vote on the whole deal. It would not be right for members to ballot on these proposals without information on a finalised contract.
The Executive Council will meet again on March 20th.
Our constant focus is to improve conditions for you, our members and to deliver safe patient care. We will continue to exhaust all avenues to achieve this aim. I will work to keep you informed of all developments.
Is mise le meas,
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
10th March 2019
Talks on a new contract for nurses and midwives have finished last night (10th March 2019). There is a very large gap between the INMO and the employers on the new contract. We do not believe that their current proposals would be acceptable to our members, nor do they fulfil the requirements of the Labour Court recommendation. This dispute arose over recruitment and retention problems. The employer's proposed contract would only worsen such problems.
Your elected Executive Council will have an extraordinary meeting tomorrow (Monday) at 2pm to decide the next steps. We will update members once we have further information.
Contract negotiations with the employers have moved to the Workplace Relations Commission this afternoon (8th March).
This follows intensive engagement with the employers, at which we made progress to remove the most objectionable elements from the much-publicised first draft of the employer's proposed contract. The INMO remains adamant that the parameters set by the Labour Court's recommendation cannot be exceeded.
The Executive Council will only recommend in favour of the deal if the contract negotiations produce an acceptable outcome for members.
Talks are now at a critical phase. We will update members once we have more information.