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INMO Members Accept Expanded Proposals
Press Release. 07.04.17

INMO Members Accept Expanded Proposals To Begin Addressing Staffing/Recruitment/Retention Crisis

-       82% vote in favour following nationwide workplace ballots

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have voted, by a margin of 82%, to accept proposals to begin addressing the staffing/recruitment/ retention crisis in nursing and midwifery.

The proposals, which emerged following talks chaired by the Workplace Relations Commission, contain a number of measures including:

  • increasing the nursing/midwifery workforce by over 1,200, to over 37,000, before the end of this year;
  • a funded workforce plan to be subject to quarterly reviews under Ministerial order;
  • the offering of permanent posts to all nurses/midwives, currently on panels, and all nurse/midwife graduates from 2016/2017;
  • increased incentives to attract Irish nurses/midwives back from overseas particularly the UK; 
  • miscellaneous other measures including:

-    more flexible permanent contracts;
-    a pre-retirement scheme; and
-    increased numbers of undergraduate and postgraduate places for nurses and midwives; 

  • the restoration of allowances, removed from new entrants, as part of the forthcoming public service pay talks; and
  • restoration of the time plus one-sixth premium payment, for nurses working in Older Person/ID services, following determination by an independent chair.

The INMO will now immediately move to progress the following:

  • full implementation, of the proposals, overseen by a national implementation group involving senior officials from the Department of Health/HSE and the INMO;
  • complete our engagement with the Public Service Pay Commission and its specific examination of the labour market challenges affecting nursing/midwifery;
  • finalise, through a full debate at our annual conference in Wexford, on 3rd/4th/5th May, our approach to the talks, between public service unions and government,
  • expected to begin in May; and
  • as part of these talks to have direct engagement, with government, on the specific issues of nursing/midwifery pay in the context of the continued inability of the Irish public health service to recruit and retain nurses and midwives.

In relation to the ongoing labour market challenge the INMO has noted the recent independent survey findings, released this week, which again confirm:

  • one in four nurses/midwives, currently working in the health service, are actively looking to leave;
  • the lengthy delays in filling vacant posts despite public competition; and
  • the ongoing haemorrhage of Irish educated nurses and midwives to overseas countries, including the UK, despite the uncertainties created by BREXIT.

Speaking this afternoon INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:

“Our members, in accepting these proposals, are stating quite clearly, that they represent just the first step, in a three year programme, which must see nurse/midwife employment levels increase to over 40,000 from its current level of 35,600.

Our members have also said to us, in the many workplace meetings that have taken place over the past three weeks, that, in addition to these measures, the issue of pay must be prioritised, progressed and addressed as part of the public service pay talks scheduled for May.  The Organisation will now prepare for these talks and the government must now move from simply talking about the recruitment/retention crisis and agree concrete measures, which must involve pay, when we engage with them in May”.

INMO General Secretary Liam Doran, commenting on the outcome, said:

“The last three weeks has seen the Organisation engage with thousands of members, in workplaces, across the country.  The pressure upon our members, due to staffing shortages, was again brought forward at every meeting.

These proposals now fall to be implemented, overseen by a joint high level group, who must ensure nationwide roll out immediately.

The pay of nurses and midwives now moves front and centre.  The forthcoming talks must result in direct engagement on the obvious need to significantly improve the pay of nurses/midwives.  The government must act and the May talks provides them with the opportunity as nurses/midwives will not wait any longer.”



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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