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Public Service Pay Negotiations Update – 29th May 2017

Today talks began with a presentation from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to the public pay bill. In reality, this covered much of the ground referred to last week concerning the financial cost of payroll, available resources in the mind of the government, the impact of financial emergency legislation and the public service pension context. In responding the unions collectively emphasised the necessity to unwind the emergency legislation, to address pensions in an equitable fashion, and overall to return to our members with an agreement which will be acceptable. There will be much discussion on pay and pensions in the coming days, and this was a frustrating effort to dampen expectations as the negotiations progress.

This morning also saw the first engagement on recruitment and retention issues. A very strong submission was made by INMO negotiators addressing the disproportionate fall in nursing and midwifery numbers, the haemorrhage of our graduates and the outpouring of experienced members of the professions which all points to the now chronic and dangerous inability to recruit and retain. We also emphasised that this is all occurring against the backdrop of heroic efforts by those who have remained to not only maintain services but also increase levels of services provisions in all areas, a position which cannot and will not be sustained. Notably, we made it abundantly clear that pay and conditions must be at the centre of the process to resolve these problems. 

Negotiations are progressing at a slow pace and frustration with management is palpable and growing, with much remaining to be achieved if an agreement worthy of consideration is to emerge. We will update you again tomorrow evening. 

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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