Attention: All Agency Nurses: 12.12.12
Re: Graduate Programme for Nurses/Midwives
I received a letter today from the owner of Nurse on call, Ms Catherine Kennedy Arnold, which was circulated to all agency nurses on her employment list. This letter is riddled with accusations and incorrect information. I will outline the factual position for your attention:
· The INMO were advised yesterday, December 11th, 2012, by the HSE and representatives of the Department of Health, that the Government was approving a graduate programme for nurses/midwives.
· The rate of pay approved by the Government is 80% of the first point of the staff nurse scale.
· 1,000 posts will be available to graduates in 2013, and in 2014 if places are not filled.
· The programme will be for a two year duration.
The INMO’s initial comments are as follows:
· The rate of pay is not acceptable and is insulting to all nurses and midwives.
· The position of confining employment to graduates will be examined from a number of angles, not least of them, equality of opportunity to work.
· The long standing position of the INMO is that nurses/midwives who rely on agency work as their only source of income, should have an opportunity to have their posts consolidated into direct employment. This is cheaper for the HSE and gives greater job security. (As you may be aware we have been successful in converting agency posts to directly employed posts in a number of locations).
· Nurses and midwives on panels, awaiting appointment, cannot be treated less favourably as a result of this Government plan and their expectation to be appointed from that panel must be realised if posts are available.
· The INMO has not made a decision in respect of our formal response to Government as our Executive Council is not due to meet until Monday next, December 17th, in emergency session. A response to the Government proposal will be debated and formulated at that forum. It hasn't been accepted and in fact a decision has not been taken as yet.
· The concerns of Agency nurses and midwives, nurses and midwives on employment panels and graduating nurses will all be taken into account by the INMO Executive before they make a decision.
· A notice will be issued post this meeting and the INMO will, as it always does, seek to maximise employment and conditions of employment for all members in any discussions we have with government and HSE representatives following this decision .
Phil Ni Sheaghdha’
Director of Industrial Relations