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Nurses And Midwives Campaign Of Action Will Escalate, Next Week, In The Absence Of Renewed Efforts To Resolve Issues 03/04/07
Rolling regional work stoppages, of short duration will begin on Wednesday, 11th April 2007

JOINT PRESS RELEASE, Tuesday, 3rd April 2007

The Irish Nurses Organisation and Psychiatric Nurses Association have decided, at a meeting of its joint strategy committee this morning, to continue the current work to rule and escalate their action, to include rolling regional work stoppages of short duration, beginning next Wednesday, 11th April 2007.

In making this decision the joint strategy committee reviewed and considered the following:

  • the work to rule, which commenced yesterday, Monday, 2nd April 2007, had resulted, as expected, in all nurses and midwives providing the full range of nursing and midwifery care required by patients and clients;
  • senior HSE management, in some hospitals, had left the hospitals, yesterday evening, without any contingency plans being in place resulting avoidable difficulties with the handling of routine telephone calls and other administrative duties not currently being performed by nursing/midwifery staff;
  • the need to ensure that patients, currently in hospital, would have all of their treatment provided, without interruption, to allow them to be discharged before the forthcoming Easter holiday weekend; and
  • health service employers would now have eight days in which to commit themselves to recommence negotiations on the two issues of:
    • the date for the introduction of a 35-hour week for nursing/midwifery staff; and   
    • progress on the elimination of a pay anomaly between nurses and social care workers.

Details of the nature, form and location of any short regional rolling work stoppages will be announced on next Monday, 9th April 2007.

Should these rolling work stoppages commence the INO/PNA have again confirmed that all essential/emergency nursing/midwifery care will be provided by nursing/midwifery staff reporting to a senior nurse manager in that location.  The staff providing this essential/emergency cover will be paid.

Speaking this lunchtime Liam Doran, INO General Secretary said:

“We are absolutely satisfied that all of our members continue to provide the full range of nursing/midwifery care required by patients/clients whether in hospital, the community or in the individual’s own home.  It is regrettable that in some hospitals, last evening, senior management went home without putting in place any contingency arrangements for dealing with telephone and other administrative duties.  This caused avoidable delays and confusion to patients and their relatives.

In deferring any escalation of the campaign, until Wednesday, 11th April 2007, we remain fully committed to ensuring that all patients, currently awaiting procedures/treatment in the immediate future, will have same delivered, without any interruption, to allow them be discharged before the forthcoming Easter holidays.

However the escalation will commence in the absence of any re-engagement, by health employers, in negotiations to resolve these issues which, I repeat, have been outstanding for up to 27 years”.

Mr. Des Kavanagh, PNA General Secretary concluded:

“The commitment and solidarity of our respective membership has been absolute, with regard to the work to rule, and our members professionalism has again been demonstrated by their continuing full commitment to the patient and the provision of all required nursing/midwifery care.  The government and health employers now have a further opportunity to come to the negotiating table so that these long standing issues can be addressed, in an open and creative way as previously promised by the Taoiseach, before there is any need for the escalation of action into short work stoppages”.


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