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Media Watch - A more caring Ireland

The INMO first LGBT conference received significant coverage in the media as the Haddington Road proposals took centre stage

The INMO’s first LGBT conference was well covered in the media. Fear of ‘coming out’ still exists in sport was a headline on Irishhealth.com (June 24). Deputy Jerry Buttimer, TD “called on sporting bodies, such as the GAA and FAI, to reach out to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

According to Cork South Central TD, Jerry Buttimer, who is himself one of the first openly gay politicians in Leinster House, Ireland has changed considerably in recent years and is now a more respectful and tolerant society. However, in building this fairer society, it is essential that trade unions, community organisations, civic society groups and sporting bodies “take a lead role in getting the message out that being gay is okay”, he said.

Speaking at the INMO conference he said: “This conference is a huge milestone and demonstrates nurses’ and midwives’ willingness to lead on excellence in healthcare and to recognise sexual orientation and gender differences at work. Today, the INMO is playing an active role in constructing a more caring Ireland and in building more secure communities.”

Gay and lesbian nurses find it hard to be ‘out’ in workplace, according to INMO survey was a headline in the Roscommon Herald (June 21) “Gay and lesbian nurses say they face discrimination every day in work, according to a survey being discussed at a LGBT conference in Dublin today. The conference is being run by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, who say their members find it hard to be “out” in the workplace. INMO vice president James Geoghegan says this can change if employers bring in new policies.

“People can feel comfortable that they can express themselves openly in the work place. It is found that employers who have these diverse policies in place, their staff perform better.”

Meanwhile, the Wexford Echo (June 21) reported that - New research shows Lesbian or Gay nurses are more likely to hide their sexuality, leading to feelings of isolation. Addressing the INMO’s LGBT Conference in Dublin, DCU Sociologist Dr Mel Duffy said ‘being out’ in the workplace can improve productivity.

She said: “They have a tendency to work better, be happier, take less sick days as they know they don’t have to hide who they are and they are welcome members of their workforce and they can talk about their weekends, what they did, their families and anything that affects them as human beings. They don’t find that they are actually being socially isolated by listening to the talk of heterosexuality and not being part of that conversation.”

Haddington Road proposals
On 21 June 21, RTÉ News reported that the GRA, INMO and PNA members accepted the Haddington Road Agreement by significant margins.

“Following a nationwide ballot, the INMO voted to accept the proposals by a margin of 71% in favour and 29% against. INMO general secretary Liam Doran said his union “will be insisting that all employers fully comply with the information and consultation requirements, within the agreement, and demonstrate total respect for the contribution, that has, is, and will continue to be made, by nurses and midwives as frontline health professionals and public servants”.

The Industrial Relations News (May 30) carried a lengthy piece on the proposals under a headline – Doran’s strategy pays off, but what does future hold? It is clear that the risky strategy adopted by Liam Doran, general secretary of the nurses and midwives union, INMO, in spearheading opposition to ‘Croke Park Two’ has resulted in a power shift among public service unions” according to industrial relations journalist, Martin Frawley. “The corollary of the rise in influence of the grade-specific unions, may be the decline in influence of the general unions, most notably SIPTU and to a lesser extent, IMPACT... retention of double time for Sunday work is a considerable coup for the INMO and one that other unions have been more than happy to accept – and also claim credit for – having previously said they had left nothing on the table.”

Forum on long-term residential care
INMO supports forum on long-term residential care – this was a headline in The Irish Medical News (June 17). “The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has voiced its support for Nursing Homes Ireland’s (NHI) campaign for a forum on long-term residential care in Ireland. The Organisation is planning to write to Older Person Minister Kathleen Lynch calling for a forum to be established and to report within 12 months.”

Prime Time investigates
Recently RTÉ showed a Prime Time investigation into unacceptable practices at crèches called ‘A Breach of Trust’. The Herald (June 1) ran a headline – Crèche parents to get inspection reports by HSE – FALL-OUT: Minister announces national review. “The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said that it has raised a number of concerns in relation to the numbers of public health nurses engaged for crèche inspection. It said that a further 25 inspectors would be required. However, it noted that the practice of allowing providers to open without a preopening inspection should be stopped and inspection should be mandatory prior to opening.”

Ann Keating is the INMO media relations officer email:annkeating@eircom.net

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