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From the President - On the ground with the president

International events In February, I attended the International Nursing and Midwifery Section Conference in the RCSI and the INMO International Nurses Section AGM at INMO HQ. The two-day 32nd annual International Nursing and Midwi fer y Conference focused on the theme of ‘Nursing in a Time of Austerity’. This conference was very well attended.

Meanwhile, the International Nurses Section meeting also saw an upturn in attendance with five nationalities represented. This Section is an important network for our international nurses and I would strongly urge members to become involved to help develop this section, which aims to assist with issues relevant to international nurses. Some excellent events have been planned throughout the year.

INMO president, Claire Mahon, pictured with members of the International Nurses Section at its AGM recently

Branch meetings and Kerry visits
In the first months of 2013, I’ve traversed from east to west of the country with a stop in the midlands in between to attend regional meetings of the Dublin East Coast Branch, the Mullingar Branch and the Killarney Branch. These meetings are of great importance and allow me to see the enthusiasm of INMO members and to hear firsthand their concerns about issues of regional importance.

I was in Kerry for two events recently. The first was a meeting in Tralee with Minister Jimmy Deenihan in relation to the graduate employment issue. Although the Croke Park II talks have taken precedence in the media, we continue to address the graduate nurse/midwife scheme as a point of concern. I commend all graduates who continue to boycott this initiative and urge you to maintain your stance. To date, contracts continue to be renewed at the correct salary scale.

I also attended the Killarney Branch AGM. I would ask all members to attend all branch meetings at this most difficult time and in the lead up to the annual delegate conference. These meetings provide the opportunity to inform yourself of national issues and voice your own concerns in relation to your workplace. Industrial relations officers are often in attendance and it is a good way for you to become familiar with them.

Residential care report
A new report entitled Exploring Nursing Expertise in Residential Care for Older People in Ireland was launched recently. The report, by Amanda Phelan and Brandan McCormack, was commissioned by the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association (AIGNA) and Nursing Homes Ireland, in partnership with UCD and the University of Ulster. It is a very welcome and overdue document for Ireland, a country with a rapidly aging population with grave concerns over the care of its elderly. I would urge you to read the full report (see www.inmo.ie or www.aigna.ie).

24/7 Alliance
The 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance was resurrected in light of Croke Park II talks. It commenced with a press conference at INMO HQ in February, when the INMO announced its first event of the campaign, the national rally.

National rally
On February 28 the INMO and the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance held a rally in the Basketball Arena, Tallaght, to huge success, both in numbers and media coverage. The arena, scheduled to have 2,000 attendees, bolstered this capacity by a further 2,000 union members. The rally was a testament to the resilience of all workforces concerned, who gathered in a unified movement to protect their right to fair pay and working conditions.

The rally highlighted how 24/7 workers feel aggrieved by the government’s attack on their income and working conditions. The Alliance unions have planned further campaign information sessions. These are hugely important in informing your decision making in the run up to the national ballots.

The INMO recommends that you reject the government’s current proposals. We consider them to be grossly unfair and members cannot afford any further salary cuts. You, as shift workers, will be the worst affected by the current proposals. I strongly urge you to keep informed by utilising the information provided on the INMO website and in the pull-out section in this issue of WIN. Please make every effort to attend the information sessions in your area. It is imperative that you vote and accept our recommendation to reject the government’s proposals.

Get in touch
You can contact me at the INMO headquarters at Tel: 01 6640 600, through the president’s corner on www.inmo.ie or by email to: president@inmo.ie

From the President - On the ground with the president
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie