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INO Will Not Agree To Any Cuts In Pay For Nurses And Midwives. 13/01/09
- Legal advice being sought on ways to prevent unilateral action by government.

PRESS RELEASE,         Tuesday, January 13th, 2009


The Executive Council, of the Irish Nurses Organisation, at its meeting today (Tuesday, 13th January 2009), unanimously adopted a motion supporting the position of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and its refusal to commence any discussions which would involve cuts in the pay of nurses, midwives, teachers, gardai and all other public servants.

The Executive Council also agreed that the INO should immediately seek legal advice with regard to the possible illegality, of any act by government, to reduce the salary of individual nurses and midwives.

In adopting this motion the INO recognises the changed economic circumstances, facing the country.  It also understands that the Organisation should engage in discussions for the purpose of ensuring the most efficient and effective use of health service resources while maintaining the highest possible levels of patient care.  In that regard it was noted that the Organisation is currently at an advanced stage of negotiations, with the HSE, as to how best to maintain services, at safe levels, in the context of the government’s much reduced allocation to the public health service for 2009.

However the Executive Council feels it would be counter productive, deflationary and wholly unfair to ask any nurse or midwife, who is already overworked and often working in overcrowded and difficult environments, to consider any reduction in their already poor levels of pay.  It was also noted that the government appeared willing, to accept rampant profiteering, excessively high prices on essential commodities and the use of taxpayers money to bail out banks, while now seeking to take money out of the pockets of workers in the form of pay cuts from its own employees.

Speaking immediately after today’s Executive Council meeting, INO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“The INO, in keeping with other public sector unions, will not enter into any discussions which are convened to consider pay cuts of any shape or form. 

The difficulties facing this country must be addressed, by all in Irish society in equal measure, according to their ability to pay.   Nurses and midwives, because of cut backs and existing pressures on the health service, are likely to experience the worst impacts of the economic downturn in both physical and monetary terms. We are already experiencing unemployment within the nurse/midwifery workforce side by side with understaffed services.

We are taking legal advice on this matter and will not hesitate to use every legal instrument at our disposal to defend the interests, living standards and terms and conditions of our members.

Furthermore, if necessary, the INO will be a most active participant in any campaign of resistance organised, by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, to defend our members in the wake of any attack, by government, on their pay levels”.

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