Recruitment & Retention - Phase 2 - Update 2
Following your vote in favour of industrial action, we are working hard to prepare for the coming strikes. This note is to update you with the latest information. More information will follow as meeting progress and separate correspondence will also issue to Strike Committees in relation to the nature of the dispute and matters agreed at the National Derogation/Contingency Committee meetings.
1. Strike plans
As you are aware the Executive Council have agreed, and public sector employers have been notified, of the dates for this 24 hour dispute. The first is at the start of day duty on Wednesday, 30th January 2019. If unresolved, there will be further 24-hour strikes on 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th and 14th February 2019.
The strike will only take place in the public sector, as we are not currently in dispute with private employers.
Health service management can ask for certain services to be exempted from the strike (derogations) at a local or national level. A special INMO committee will meet every day at 6.00 p.m. to consider these requests from HSE management.
Some services may not be on strike on the first strike day (30th January 2019). This is for two main reasons:
(i) Some services are required to provide emergency or lifesaving care, as was agreed before the vote.
(ii) If the dispute is not resolved quickly, it is important to be able to escalate the strike over time. This escalation involves the inclusion of more locations and increasing the frequency of the 24 hour stoppages on weeks two and three.
Any members who are asked by the strike committee to work, and therefore to be on site and available to the service during the strike will be paid. Members who are rostered to work on the strike day and are on strike will be paid strike pay by the INMO. The exact rate of this pay will be decided by your Executive Council at their next meeting.
We have met the HSE nationally four times to discuss our plans and will do so again on Monday 21st. We are now meeting hospital groups, local hospital management and CHOs to discuss a reduction of services and ensure there are as few patients in the service as possible by the first strike day, 30th January 2019.
2. Resolving the Dispute
Going on strike is always a last resort and we are always open to good-faith talks. We met with the HSE and Department of Health on Tuesday 15th January but were disappointed to receive no proposals to resolve the dispute.
Our next meeting is on Monday 21st January and we have asked the HSE to bring serious proposals to the table. We have also been invited to attend an Oversight Body meeting on Friday,18th January 2019, as part of the Public Services Pay Agreement.
3. Staying Strong Together
As you would expect all attempts will be made to bring about a meaningful resolution to this dispute by the INMO Officials and Executive Council. Disappointingly, at this stage, all indicators are that the employer will not provide meaningful proposals and it is therefore very unlikely that the dispute will not proceed. Therefore, please organise with your colleagues, under the direction of your local strike committee, to collectively prepare for this dispute. Please keep an eye out for further updates.
Thank you for your attention.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha