Arising from further developments, on critical issues, over the past two days, I wish to update you on the following:
1. Restoration of Time plus One-Sixth Premium - Nurses and Midwives - Acute Hospitals
It has now been confirmed that, at the very minimum, all acute hospitals, have made an initial (flat) payment as a first step in restoring the time plus one-sixth premium from 1st January 2016.
Further to the schedule of payments, circulated to you two days ago, the INMO has now confirmed, through contact with representatives and members on the ground in each hospital, that payments were made on or before 12th January 2017 as stated.
There were a small number of difficulties, yesterday, and the INMO refused to enter into discussions, with health service management, yesterday afternoon, on staffing/recruitment/retention until they were resolved.
As per the schedule any outstanding retrospection, back to 1st January 2016, will be paid in the end of January salary payment. The time plus one-sixth premium is now, therefore, restored for working between 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. and will automatically be paid every month. Please note this is in addition to the time and one-sixth premium payment, which was never withdrawn, covering the period from 8.00 p.m. until the end of the day shift.
As previously stated this is just the latest step in the INMO’s ongoing efforts to restore all cuts, in pay and conditions, imposed in recent years. We continue in discussions, with health service management, with regard to restoring the time plus one-sixth premium to our members working in other sectors i.e. care of the elderly/community/intellectual disability and a further update will issue on this shortly.
2. National Campaign - Staffing/Recruitment/Retention
I now wish to confirm that the INMO met with officials from the Department of Health/HSE/Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, last evening (Thursday, 12th January 2017), for an initial engagement on the need for special measures to address the staffing/recruitment/retention crisis in nursing/midwifery.
These discussions commenced against the backdrop of the mandate received, following the recent national ballot, with 90% of members supporting industrial action, if necessary, in pursuance of actions to alleviate the current crisis.
At the meeting, last evening, the INMO delegation, which involved our three officers, Martina Harkin-Kelly, President; Mary Leahy, 1st Vice-President; and Margaret Frahill, 2nd Vice-President, together with senior officials advised the management side that our members were angry and their patience was exhausted. The delegation stated that without immediate, and significant, measures, to address the staffing/recruitment/retention crisis, industrial action was inevitable as the members would not continue to work in the current environment.
The INMO delegation also detailed the extent of the crisis highlighting the reality that we continue to have 3,500 less nursing/midwifery posts, in the system, as compared to 2008. At the same time we now have 1,600 more doctors and a similar number of Allied Health Professionals, as compared to 2008. In addition the health service is facing increasing demand, every year, with levels of acuity and dependency, within the patient/client population, increasing every day.
We asked the management side to explain, through specific measures, what they intended to do about the current crisis and the unsafe working environments which currently exists for nurses and midwives.
In response the management side stated that they accepted there was a huge problem and that the recruitment and retention of nurses/midwives was the first priority for health service management in 2017.
Against this background, and in the context of the many points that we had made, the management side agreed that they would bring forward initial proposals, in writing, aimed at addressing the staffing/recruitment/retention crisis on next Friday, 20th January 2017. It was further agreed that we would reconvene, to consider any such proposals, on the afternoon of Monday, 23rd January 2017.
IMMEDIATE NEXT STEPS
The INMO Executive Council is scheduled to meet, on next Tuesday, 17th January 2017. It will consider the situation, in the context of the national campaign and, specifically, the outcome of the talks last evening, what is now proposed, and will decide the Organisation’s next steps.
Whatever decision the Executive Council takes will, of course, be communicated immediately to all members and regular updates will issue on an ongoing basis. In the interim, and as previously directed by the Executive Council, our Industrial Relations Officers will continue to work with local representatives to establish campaign committees in all workplaces.
Thank you for your attention to this note. Please, as stated above, watch out for further updates on an ongoing basis.
Frequently asked questions - INMO Campaign to Improve Staffing Levels
Overview of Proposals
Submission from INMO to the Public Service Pay Commission
INMO Pay Campaign Continues
Industrial action deferred. 04.03.17
Presentation is available to members here if you use your INMO website login and password.
Calls for immediate action