I am writing to update you on our two top priorities: ending the HSE's recruitment pause and fully rolling out the strike settlement.
1. Recruitment pause
The HSE still deny that there is any recruitment pause in place, but we know differently. A deliberately bureaucratic process means that vital nursing and midwifery posts are simply not being filled.
We also ensured that coverage of the government’s proposed Winter Plan focused on the importance of staffing – see the Irish Times, RTE and the Examiner for examples. It is vital that this remains on the top of the health agenda.
Alongside the national campaign, the INMO is also working on a local level to expedite recruitment. We’ve succeeded in securing spaces for new grads and have had local successes in hiring PHNs. But is clear that the policy as a whole must simply be abolished.
2. Strike settlement
Many members have now received or are in the process of getting new allowances, back pay, and the enhanced practice scale. However, we know that some workplaces are moving substantially slower than others. Your IROs and reps are applying pressure locally to get the money which is owed to you paid promptly.
I would strongly encourage all staff nurses and midwives to apply to join the Enhanced Practice scale as soon as possible. It was a key win in the strike, offering higher pay at every year throughout your career, with a contract which operates largely on the same lines as now. Nobody is moved to this automatically, however – you must apply to join. Don’t delay – as waiting until your next increment risks missing out on back pay.
If you have any questions about this process – please contact our information office on 01 664 0600.
On the new allowance for medical and surgical wards, we expect the HSE to soon issue a circular instructing payroll departments to apply it. This pay will be backdated to 1st March 2019.
For managerial grades, the HSE have officially advised that terms of reference for the expert group have been issued to the Department of Public Expenditure. The next steps are (1) consultation with the union and (2) agreement on the parties to conduct the review.
RTÉ 1’s Nationwide will be featuring a programme on the INMO on Monday 18th at 7pm. The programme will look back on our union’s 100 years, speak to nurse and historian, Mark Loughrey, and feature some of your fellow members in the Mercy University Hospital in Cork and Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda.
Finally, you may have seen that we have recently launched a digital edition of WIN magazine to accompany the print edition. Any and all feedback is welcome.
Is mise le meas,
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
General Secretary, INMO