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Croke Park Extension Talks - News Update 28. 03.05.13

Friday, 3rd May 2013

Dear Colleague

I refer to my previous updates, in relation to the continuing issue of the government’s approach to public service pay, and wish to advise you of the following:

1.    Meeting with Labour Relations Commission (LRC)

I can now confirm that, as part of the LRC initiative at the request of government, the INMO met with the LRC on last Wednesday afternoon, 1st May 2013.

At this meeting the LRC representatives advised:

  • that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform remain intent on accruing savings from payroll;
  • they have advised the LRC that they are still considering primary legislation, to allow for this, and that they will also consider letters from government - circular letters - of instruction to each department to action this payroll saving;
  • they have, however, requested the LRC  seek opinion from the trade unions in relation to alternative means of achieving savings and they will receive a report back from the LRC next week.

The INMO representatives indicated the following:

  • that the Croke Park 2 proposals, having been rejected, are now redundant;
  • the INMO remains committed to delivering ongoing reform, within the health service, as provided for under the current Croke Park Agreement which also protects existing pay and conditions; and
  • we are prepared to engage in a substantial reform programme, which will yield payroll savings, but this must protect all existing pay arrangements and conditions of employment.

There were further discussions, on this issue, yesterday, Thursday, 2nd May 2013, and we are currently awaiting further feedback from the Labour Relations Commission.

This approach from the INMO, which was approved by the Executive Council, at its special meeting on Tuesday, 30th April 2013, re-affirms our constructive approach, to delivering real change in the health service, which enhances patient care and improves efficiency.

A further update on this very important matter will issue if, and when, there are further developments.

2.    Executive Council

The INMO Executive Council, as referred to above, met in special session, last Tuesday, 30th April 2013, to review all issues arising from the rejection of the Croke Park 2 proposals.

As indicated the Executive Council approved the constructive approach, from the INMO, to the LRC, towards finding further pay savings while protecting all existing pay arrangements, and we now await feedback on that issue.

The Executive Council also decided the following:

  • there would be a special debate on this issue at the Organisation’s annual delegate conference next week in Letterkenny;
  • this special debate, which will see an emergency motion from the Executive Council considered by delegates, will take place on Thursday morning, 9th May 2013; and
  • the text of this emergency motion will be finalised by the Executive Council, at its pre-conference meeting on next Wednesday morning, 8th May 2013, and will then be published and circulated widely.

The Executive Council also agreed that the INMO should work closely, with the Irish Medical Organisation, in working up a significant change and transformation programme for the health service, as part of our alternative strategy to pay cuts within the public service.  The Council also agreed that we should continue to develop collective strategies with the unions, and organisations in the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance and the Alliance for a No Vote groups.

3.    Annual Delegate Conference

Next week will see the 94th annual delegate conference, of the Organisation, take place in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.

The theme of the conference is “Protecting the Frontline” which we will interpret as referring to both the protection of standards and the protection of those who provide care.

While the conference will obviously be dominated by:

  • issues arising with regard to public service pay and conditions; and
  • the pressure on registered nurses and midwives of maintaining safe care and safe practice in the current clinical environment;

There will also be an opportunity for the Organisation to come together and re-affirm our collective support for each other and for a quality assured public health service in these challenging times.
We will issue daily bulletins, with regard to conference activities, and we will also be placing short podcasts, on our website, each evening.
As always can I thank you for your attention to this note and, as promised, further updates will issue, in addition to the annual conference updates, with regard to public service pay as required.

Yours sincerely

General Secretary


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