As you are aware the HSE held a meeting with the INMO, and other trade unions representing nurses and midwives, today the 9th November. This meeting had been requested by the INMO on foot of the positive ballot and the decision of our Executive Council to engage in a ballot for industrial action on the 19th of this month.
As you are also aware, we had notified the employer that they should take the opportunity of these two weeks to come forward with proposals that would avert and avoid the necessity of nurses and midwives engaging in dispute action in order to get a positive outcome on the issues that face them every day due to understaffing, overcrowding etc. The firm opinion is that, despite all matters that have been introduced, improvements have not been seen in recruitment and retention. Obviously, the only issue that has not been introduced is a correction to the low pay for nurses and midwives, and this is the matter we seek concrete proposals in respect of.
The meeting today involved a rehash of some of the issues relating to recruitment and retention. The agreement, that was brokered in 2017 with the INMO and SIPTU, would have required a Funded Workforce Plan in November 2017, setting out the numbers of additional nurses and midwives to be employed in 2018. As you are aware this plan has yet to be presented to the INMO and SIPTU and it is now a year late.
Today the employer has committed to providing a full implementation plan of these agreements to the unions by close of business Monday, 12th November.
In the meantime, at the meeting today, there were no proposals to deal with the issues facing nursing and midwifery. The INMO have repeated its request to have realistic and implementable proposals in order to avoid a nurses and midwives dispute.
We have repeated that our intention is not to have a dispute, our intention is to correct the unequal pay for nurses and midwives. If this forces nurses and midwives into a situation where they have to take industrial action, that will be unfortunate, it is avoidable, and we encourage the employer to use the next nine days to get serious. We have advised the employer that we are available for further dialogue and discussion and we will keep you updated as to the outcome at any of those talks that might be arranged for next week.
Thanking you for your attention to this note.
PHIL NI SHEAGHDHA
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