Government must remove red tape around paying pandemic bonus
It has been over five months since the Government announced that they would be paying a €1000 tax free bonus to frontline healthcare workers and nearly two months since the HSE issued a circular on how payment would be made to workers. Since only three hospitals have paid the Pandemic Recognition Bonus – Beaumont Hospital, University Hospital Waterford, and the National Maternity Hospital. Many hospitals are stating locally that the Health Service Executive have not yet released the funds this bonus to be paid. The fact that the Government announced the Pandemic Recognition Payment on the 19th of January and healthcare workers have yet to receive the payments has taken all the good news out of this announcement.
Additionally, the Department of Health has yet to even issue a circular as to how agency staff, private nursing home staff and Section 39 employees will be paid. This is despite several calls from the National Staff Panel of Trade Unions, of which the INMO chairs, requesting the Department to do so. This meeting with the DOH will also include the issue of other private sector employees including acute private hospitals and practice nurses.
The red tape around this payment must be removed and the promised payment made.
This is yet another example of delaying the implementation of what has already been agreed. Unfortunately, all too often we see the practice of delayed implementation of agreements and this in turn this leads to an increase in numbers of nurses and midwives expressing their intention to leave the profession.
I have today written to the Minister for Health calling on him to direct the HSE to make the payments for those who work in the HSE and Section 38s immediately and for his Department to announce how agency staff, private nursing home staff and Section 39 employees will be paid. You can read my letter here
Restoration of Haddington Road Hours
The HSE and the Staff Panel of Health Sector Trade Unions including the INMO met with the HSE today in relation to the Restoration of the Haddington Road hours. The HSE has confirmed that the Restoration of hours will be implemented on the 01st of July 2022. The have received feedback from the acute hospitals and the CHOs in relation to replacement costs.
It is expected that there will be a meeting next week in relation to establishing the quantum of the replacement costs which are required. The Unions have requested that the Principles Document which will give guidance to managers and local representatives on the implementation of same will issue next week. The unions have also sought that the funding that is provided for replacement costs is kept separate from the ongoing recruitment cost and is not diverted to any other projects. We will be to update members further next week.
Have you been working as a nurse or midwife in Ireland over the past two years? If so, we want to hear from you. The INMO is supporting a master’s project from University College Cork that is researching the prevalence of Secondary Traumatic Stress among nurses and midwives in Ireland.
Take part in a short survey, anonymous survey on this topic.
The more responses gained, the more impactful the results will be to highlight pressing this issue among nurses and midwives.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha
Building Momentum PSA
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