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Members Update 3 - 26.05.17

Friday, 26th May 2017


Dear Member,

As you will have seen the negotiations, between public service management, on behalf of government, and public service unions (including the INMO), on a possible new public service pay agreement, began last Monday, 22nd May 2017.

While we have issued short updates, on a daily basis, I now wish, through this news update, to provide some further detail as follows:

1.    The negotiations, which involve public service management and all public service unions/organisations, including Gardaí and Defence Forces, began, with a large plenary session and economic briefing, last Monday.

2.    At this initial plenary session the union side detailed the wide range of issues, which need to be addressed, on behalf of all unions, including:

  • restoration of pay;
  • maintenance of pension entitlements;
  • recruitment/retention issues; and
  • working time (hours).

    A number of other issues, including the need to maintain professional regulation fees, at their current rate (€100), together with overtime rates/ agency working costs/contracts of indefinite duration were also tabled for discussion.

3.    Management, in their opening statement, also said they wished to discuss a number of issues which, from a nursing/midwifery perspective, included:

  • greater flexibility with regard to facilitating the outsourcing of support services;
  • Saturday working with a view to introducing a 5/6 day working week with Saturday being treated as a normal working day;
  • time and attendance systems; 
  • overall rostering arrangements; and
  • redeployment.

4.    The remainder of the week has been spent in discussions taking place, via various working groups, on various aspects, of the above agenda, without, to date, any agreement being reached on any issue.

5.    In relation to the working group, on working hours, it should be noted that a number of public service unions, on behalf of their members, in addition to the INMO, indicated that this was a critically important issue which, if any final agreement was to be accepted by members, would have to be progressed.

  • In relation to the INMO position we put on the record that our claim, for parity, included the need to provide, for nurses and midwives, the same length of working week as applied to all other health professional grades.

6.    At the end of this week, with further discussions pending on a number of items, it has been agreed that the critically important issues of:

  • pay (restoration); and
  • recruitment and retention;

    will be discussed, for the first time, in two separate sessions on next Monday, 29th May 2017;

  • the INMO will, at both of these sessions, reaffirm our policy, as determined by our recent annual conference, that progress must be made, on both issues, if any final set of proposals are to be put out, to members, in a ballot, with a recommendation for acceptance.

7.    Members are also asked to note that, on Thursday, 25th May 2017, the INMO met with the leaders of political parties as follows:

  • Fianna Fail - Mr. Micheal Martin TD;
  • Sinn Fein - Mr. Gerry Adams TD; and
  • Labour - Mr. Brendan Howlin TD;

to explain the extent of the recruitment and retention crisis and the need for an initiative, as part of any possible new agreement, to address the current situation through pay related initiatives.

All three party leaders confirmed they accepted there was a problem, which had to be addressed, and accepted that measures should be brought forward within the context of the current set of negotiations.

Summary

While the negotiations began last Monday, it has to be noted that, to date, the engagements have been preliminary in nature.

Obviously with pay and recruitment/retention, down for discussion, on Monday, it can be expected that these critically important issues will come to the fore, early next week, and the engagements will become, by extension, more intense and serious.

A deadline of next Friday, 2nd June 2017, was originally set, for the negotiations.  However, at this stage, it is very difficult to predict the duration due both to the list of issues to be discussed and, in addition, the uncertainty arising, at a political level, at this time.

We will keep members advised, of all developments, via short daily bulletins so please check our website and social media platforms for same.

In addition we will continue to issue a more detailed update, on a weekly basis, and, more regularly, if developments require.

Please note that, if any set of proposals emerge, from this process, they will be considered, in the first instance, by the Executive Council and then put out for a nationwide ballot of members.

Thank you for your attention to this update.

Yours sincerely


Liam Doran
General Secretary 

 

 
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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