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Private Hospitals, In An Opportunistic And Illegal Act, Threaten Pay Cuts On Their Staff

PRESS RELEASE, Thursday, 17th December 2009

The Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) has learned today that a range of private health service providers, including the Bon Secours Hospital Group, the Mater Private, Mount Carmel, St. Vincent’s Private Hospital and the Hermitage Clinic, are seeking to impose, upon all of their staff, unilateral pay cuts without agreement.

These profitable, private healthcare providers are seeking to capitalise upon the disgraceful and dictatorial action of government towards its employees, in announcing pay cuts ranging from 4% to 10% depending on workplace location.

None of these employments have attempted to engage their staff’s trade unions, prior to their unilateral declarations, and are, instead, saying they will impose the pay cuts, in breach of all relevant legislation, with effect from 1st January 2010.

The Irish Nurses Organisation has, this evening, advised all of its members, in these health service workplaces, to refuse to accept these imposed changes and to immediately reject this opportunistic, and wholly unnecessary, actions of their employer.  In addition the INO is writing to IBEC seeking an immediate meeting pointing out that the actions of these employers are in breach of all agreements, including Towards 2016.

In addition the INO will now be convening meetings of its members, in all of these locations, in order to initiate, if the individual employer proceeds to impose these cuts, a ballot for strike action.

Speaking this evening INO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“This is the worst example of pure opportunism by a private sector employer, although engaged in a profitable enterprise, seeking to impose unnecessary pay cuts upon their dedicated, professional and hardworking staff.

These employers have not even had the decency to engage in any discussions, with the INO or any other health service union, but have simply indicated that they will impose these pay cuts from 1st January 2010.

The INO, together with all other health service unions representing staff in these workplaces, will now respond, through every means necessary, to defend the pay and conditions of our members in these workplaces that are profit making enterprises”.

Mr. Doran concluded:

“This is the first example of a private sector employer seeking to capitalise upon the recent dictatorial behaviour of government in imposing pay cuts without the agreement of staff.  However, unlike the government, these private health sector providers cannot pass laws, to suit their objectives, and we will resist these unilateral, unfair, unnecessary and provocative cuts with the full support of our members, and all staff, who work in these locations”.


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