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Members Update 25.10.16

25th October 2016

Nursing / Medical Interface Transfer to Tasks

Premium pay cut from nurses/midwives working between 6-8 pm to be restored following implementation of the Agreement secured under the Lansdowne Road agreement in Acute Hospitals.

As members are aware, the INMO and SIPTU nursing and the IMO have engaged with the health service employer represented by the HSE and Department of Health to implement the agreement re Nursing and Medical interface under the Lansdowne Road Agreement. 

The INMO argued that this would allow savings accrue which would cover the costs associated with restoring the premium payment, removed from nursing and midwifery (and all other health care workers) under the Haddington Road Agreement and that it should be restored to the nursing/ midwifery grades affected.

The INMO did not accept the removal of this premium payment which equates to almost 2% of salary for staff who regularly work this shift pattern between 6-8 pm, and set about getting it restored using all the procedures and processes available. 

This has worked. The first verification process has been completed and the payment is now confirmed as restored in the Acute Hospital division and a circular from the HSE has issued instructing payment – see here.

The history of this process is set out below for information:

Following a lengthy process, chaired independently, agreement was arrived at between the Dept. of Health, HSE, INMO, and SIPTU nursing and the IMO on the process in December 2015, this set out a three pronged approach:

  • The Acute Hospitals in the first instance introducing the sharing of the four tasks identified. Members are reminded that the roles and responsibilities for these roles are not removed from medical staff, they are now shared with nursing and midwifery staff. Members are also advised that the agreement allowed for nursing/ midwifery staffing levels be taken into account in areas where this would not allow nursing/ midwifery staff take on these roles. Following this a rigorous verification process to verify that this process was  undertaken,  had to be met on each acute hospital site and required site visits and sign off from local Hospital Directors of Nursing/Midwifery as well as the national verification group. The national verification group, which has a representative of the Department of Health, HSE and  trade unions, Phil Ni Sheaghdha was the INMO representative, was established and  met  during June 2016 with each site and they were satisfied that real progress was being made. 
  • Phase two – which is due to commence will involve the Social Care Division of the HSE and services outside of the acute hospitals;
  • Verification is in two phases, the first phase has now been completed and the second phase will be undertaken over the next six weeks.


Payment retrospective to January 1st is provided for in the agreement following the first verification process. 

I can now confirm that nurses and midwives in the acute division of the health services will have this payment restored from 1st November 2016 and backdated as per the agreement to January 1st 2016.

In calculating the arrears now due in the first instance in the acute division the INMO has reminded the HSE that they have to ensure provision is made to calculate as follows:

a)    Retrospection to January 1st on actual earnings;
b)    Effect of retrospection on premium pay for annual leave calculation; and,
c)    Effect of retrospection on pension and lump sum calculation of emoluments for those that have retired since the 1st January 2016.


As you are aware there is a second and final process which is required and this is to take place in the Acute Hospital setting over the next number of weeks. To this end we have agreed that not all sites would be required to meet with the national verification group however, three Hospital groups have been selected. These are as follows:

a.    Ireland East, meeting to take place at St. Vincent’s Hospital 18th November 10am – 12midday
b.    Midlands Hospital Group, meeting to take place in Tallaght Hospital on 18th November between 2pm – 4pm
c.    SAOLTA Group, meeting to take place Monday 28th November at Galway University Hospital 10.30am 
d.    Midwest Hospital Group, to take place in Limerick on Monday 28th November at 3pm.


The HSE will, in the next week write to these Hospital Groups advising them of the follow on visit which is a requirement of the second and final process. 

Sectors outside the Acute Hospital Divisions.

In respect of  sectors outside of the Acute Hospital the Agreement states that “the HSE will ensure that the payment is applied using the same mechanism to the terms and conditions of members of the INMO and SIPTU Nursing in each sector in which it applied prior to the HRA, in line with this agreement.”

The INMO met with the Social Care Division and Primary Care Division and has reiterated the terms of the agreement which requires the Social Care Division and Primary Care Division to engage with a view to ensuring nurses working in these sectors can fully apply their education and professional ability. Delivering patient services within these sectors and reducing the requirements to transfer patients to acute hospitals for the very same treatments, makes sense to INMO members working in these sectors, from a patient and service perspective.  

The INMO will continue to engage in the implementation of the December 2015 agreement in these sectors and fully engage with members during this process.  The next meeting in respect of progressing this part of the agreement is scheduled for the 7th of November.

We will continue to work to ensure that payments removed from nurses and midwives in these sectors are also restored in line with the agreement. This work is not completed and forms part of the second phase of the work of the national group. 

Conclusion 

We believe that this process has demonstrated fully that when nurses and midwives engage with change they do so in a manner that promotes and enhances patient care and makes financial sense.  The independent chairman stated in the context of the outcome of the verification process that:

“Progress achieved in firstly agreeing the transfer of tasks developments, and then implementing and verifying the changes through a collaborative process reflects well on the parties to the agreement... It is clear from the deliberations over recent months and the positive feedback from site visits that the transfer of these tasks can result in earlier interventions and consequent earlier discharges. The outcome will be that substantial financial savings can be made in addition to increasing the availability of inpatient beds, without compromising patient care or satisfaction.”

This is another step in restoration of pay for INMO members, it has been achieved within the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. In addition this will move the role of the nurse and midwife working in all areas of the public health services, into a place which provided a greater input into decision making and enhanced autonomy in their role.  This will require greater focus by employer on the provision of - going education, and development of work processes, which allow the role and function of nursing and midwifery take a central role in delivery of health care. Clearly, when involved, nurses and midwives can identify the changes that are required and pro-actively deliver on them.  


Phil Ní Sheaghdha
Director of Industrial Relations      

 

 

 

 
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