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Liam Doran, INO General Secretary To Address A Public Protest At Portiuncula Hospital @ 1.00P.M. Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 18th 2009

PRESS RELEASE, Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Liam Doran, General Secretary, Irish Nurses Organisation, will address a Public Protest outside Portiuncula Hospital at 1.00p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, February 18th, 2009. The protest is in support of the five INO senior nurse managers who remain out of work.

The dispute is ongoing, since September 2008.  At that time the senior nurse managers raised a number of complaints regarding the health and safety of staff and patients at the hospital and some of their conditions of employment.

Management at the hospital, instead of  addressing those concerns,  arranged for an ‘assessment’ involving individual meetings with an outside consultant to be carried out, without any terms of reference or agreement from the five senior nurse managers.  Each of the nurse managers sought written clarification on what was being assessed and terms of reference. None were forthcoming and, instead, they were instructed to attend. As a group they did attend an introductory meeting but were dissatisfied with the lack of clarity. They felt individual meetings with an outside party and without clear terms of reference were an attempt to penalise them for raising complaints.

The first two scheduled for assessment refused to attend without terms of reference and they were suspended from work with full pay.

Agreement was reached for a mediated return to work for the five senior nurses, who are currently on stress related sick leave.  This mediated return, and all other efforts to enable these managers return to normal working conditions, have been frustrated by an insistence by management that they will face disciplinary action as soon as they go back.  As a direct result, they remain out of work. INO want the original complaints dealt with in an open and transparent fashion and a return to work while that is happening without further threat. All of the Nurse Managers have long and distinguished careers with Portiuncula over the last twenty years.
The general INO membership in Portiuncula are planning this lunch time protest in support of having their colleagues return to work, with immediate effect, without pre-conditions.

Speaking this morning, INO Industrial Relations Officer, Noreen Muldoon, said:

“The five INO nurse manager members involved in this dispute have, at all times, since the suspension in September 2008, co-operated with all reasonable suggestions to enable their return to their normal working conditions. However, these are being hampered and frustrated by management’s pre-conditions at every juncture.

INO members, in supporting their colleagues, are adamant that they should be returned to their normal posts without the pre-conditions proposed by management.

At this point, it is important that all parties participate in the LRC process to resolve the dispute and the INO is now calling on the HSE West to sit around the table to do so.  Unless this occurs, this dispute cannot be resolved.”

The INO expects to be supported by other Unions and work colleagues, not only from Portiuncula, but also the surrounding environs.




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