Council will reconvene on Monday, January 30 to review progress
The Executive Council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) will hold a special meeting, on Monday, January 30, 2017, to review progress on discussions, with management, on the critical issues of staffing/recruitment/ retention.
The Executive Council noted that management have agreed to put written proposals to the INMO, on this Friday, January 20, 2017 and the parties will meet, for further discussions, on next Monday, January 23, 2017. It is expected further, intensive, discussions will then take place.
In this context the Council decided to defer making any decision, with regard to the timeframe for industrial action, to allow time for further discussions, involving the Department of Health/HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which began last Thursday, January 12, 2017.
In view of these developments the Executive Council, at its meeting today, decided the following:
• the Council will reconvene, on Monday, January 30, 2017 and, if management have not put forward substantial proposals, to address the staffing/ recruitment/ retention crisis, then a timeframe for industrial action will be finalised and notice will be served on all health employers;
• the Council reaffirmed its directive, to all local branch officers/representatives, to establish committees, in all workplaces, in preparation for a campaign if it is necessary; and,
• the Council is re-issuing its directive, to members, to complete, and submit to management, INMO Statement of Concern Forms whenever they feel that staffing levels, in their wards/work areas, prevent them from engaging in safe practice and delivering their full care requirements of their patients/clients;
- the Council also agreed that all Statement of Concern Forms, filled in by INMO members and submitted to management, are to be collated and maintained, by each campaign committee, and will be presented, to management, on an ongoing basis; and,
- each local campaign committee will then seek, from management, what measures were taken to respect, and address, the professional concerns of the nurses/midwives who submitted each form;
• the Council also decided that the INMO will advise management that no additional beds can be opened, across the public health system, unless agreed levels of additional nursing staff are available, on a continuous basis, in that location.
Speaking after today’s meeting INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:
“This is the last chance for health service management to demonstrate they understand the extent of the problem and come forward with concrete proposals, under the headings of staffing/recruitment/retention, which will begin resolving this deepening crisis.
Management must clearly understand that the decision of my Executive Council, today, provides them with two weeks within which to demonstrate, after years of neglect and disrespect, that they are now committed to recognising that patient care is being compromised, nurses/midwives are completely overworked and their health and safety is being neglected”.
INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:
“The INMO, while affording management the opportunity to engage and bring forward all initiatives necessary to address the crisis, will continue, at workplace level, to prepare for industrial action to protect the health and safety of our members.
Any such action will involve, as per the 90% mandate obtained from members, a mixture of individual days of strike action, augmented by a continuous work to rule, in all health service workplaces/areas”.
Mr. Doran continued:
“In addition our Executive Council, at its meeting today, also reaffirmed its directive, to members, that they must protect their practice, at all times, and submit Statement of Concern Forms to their employers. These forms are a written record of the professional judgement, of the individual or group of nurses/midwives, with regard to their practice environment.
They will be presented to management, as part of this campaign, with a demand for concrete measures, including the closure of beds if necessary, to ensure nurses/midwives can practice safely”.