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Public Service Pay Negotiations Update – 24th May 2017

This morning discussions commenced with a presentation from the employers in relation to public sector pensions. Members will be aware that pension related deductions formed part of the emergency legislation we are seeking to have unwound, and management gave a detailed presentation in relation to the value of different public sector pensions alongside their potential cost to workers and the state currently, and into the future. This discussion was also heavily informed by the analysis and conclusions of the Public Service Pay Commission. The INMO raised several issues in relation to the employer’s contribution, the necessity to recognise the value of the employee’s contribution and the absolute need for equity and proportionality in how discussions progress on this issue. While there was a robust exchange of ideas and information it can be expected that actual negotiation on this important issue will hot up in the coming days and week.

Further discussion took place around time and attendance, with little further information from management, but a further range of issues raised by the INMO.  This will be revisited on Friday, but much further detail will be required from management before we can even discuss this matter. Contracts of indefinite duration were also raised briefly, but again little progress was made, with a further engagement proposed.

Today saw the first substantive engagement on the additional unpaid hours worked across the public service with management from all sectors, including health, extolling the virtue of the hours from a service delivery and cost perspective. The INMO made clear our long-standing claim for parity of working hours with the therapeutic grades, and challenged many of the assumptions advanced by health service management which were not representative of reality in the services. This was and will be a difficult engagement, and indeed the Minister has repeatedly stated the necessity for these hours to be retained, but all unions including the INMO demanded action on this point. Again, this will be a thorny issue as discussions progress.

Tomorrow discussions will focus on issues which are not relevant to nursing and midwifery and the next substantive engagement will take place on Friday morning. The INMOs agenda is challenging for management, but at each and every opportunity our negotiators are front and centre making the case relating to the conditions in the health service, the necessity for restoration and the requirement for parity to address our recruitment and retention crisis. 

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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:0016640600 E:inmo@inmo.ie