92% of those at a special delegate conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation have today (Wednesday) voted to recommend that members reject the government’s pay proposals.
This means that tens of thousands of INMO members in the public service will be balloted in October on whether to accept or reject the government’s proposals. If rejected, a ballot to strike will follow.
The government’s proposals included a change in increments for some recent recruits and alterations to allowances for specific nurses and midwives. The proposals would have no impact on the majority of nurses and midwives in Ireland.
Nurses and midwives argued throughout the conference that the government proposals would not solve the recruitment and retention crisis, leaving wards and services understaffed coming into winter.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“The message from today’s conference was clear. Nurses and midwives are deeply frustrated with our health service. They are the lowest paid health professionals in Ireland, and many believe it’s because they are mostly women.
“The government’s proposals are simply not going to make a dent in the number of vacancies across Ireland. We are calling for members of political parties to stand with us to secure the future of our health service.
“Without a pay rise across the board, our health service will not be able to recruit and retain the nurses and midwives Ireland needs. That means more overcrowding and pressure on staff, with patients suffering as a result.
“As ever, we remain open to further discussion with the government.”
Following the conference, INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:
“We are proud to be a democratic union, and now it is up to members to have their say. This conference has recommended that member reject the government’s insufficient, divisive proposals.”