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Recruitment & Retention Phase 2 - Update 3
Members Update - 05.04.19
Re:  Labour Cour Recommendations -  41900 / 41961
 
A chairde,

On Wednesday evening, 3rd April 2019, your Executive Council decided to recommend that you vote to accept the proposals we have negotiated and which have been the subject of two labour Court Hearings in response to our claims to improve retention and recruitment in Nursing and midwifery.
 
Labour Court Recommendation
 
Their decision came following the Labour Court’s second recommendation. We had gone back to the Labour Court, in a dispute over the government’s “enhanced practice” contract, which goes along with a new, higher pay scale for staff nurses and midwives.
I am glad to say that the Labour Court agreed with the INMO’s arguments and vindicated our position. The Court’s recommendation:
 
  • removes proposals for 4, 6, and 8 hour shifts – no change to current arrangements; 
  • removes proposals for changes in workplace locations mid-shift – no change to current arrangements; 
  • rules out proposals for “split shifts”, where your shifts would be divided across the day; and
  • guarantees that newly qualified nurses and midwives can reach the higher “Enhanced Practice” salary scale after 1 year and 16 weeks – not after 2 years, as government had tried.
 
To be clear, the new contract’s purpose is to allow staff nurses and midwives to access the new, higher pay scale. It will be up to individual members whether they want to sign, and it will not apply to anyone outside of the staff nurse/midwife grades.
 
Balloting & Information Meetings
 
Balloting is set to begin on Monday, 8th April 2019. As with previous votes, this will largely be at workplace information meetings over a number of weeks. Keep an eye out for specific voting information in your workplace.  All details will also be on the INMO website www.inmo.ie. 
 
The Proposal
 
Your Executive has now fully recommended that you vote to accept this package. It is the INMO’s view that,  while it does not resolve all our problems, it represents significant progress for all nurses and midwives, increases in take-home pay, and ensures that our professions have a clear voice in the reform of the health service. This means we will be a central part of shaping the health service’s future, and these proposals provide the basis for this to become the standard practice.
 
We met with your strike committee representatives on Thursday, 4th April 2019, to present the full proposals. Specifically, the package you are being asked to vote for includes:
 
  • a new “Enhanced Practice” salary scale which sees all staff nurses and midwives receive increased pay at their next increment date, in varying amounts up to €2,439 more each year, and all will get to a higher maximum point 4 years earlier; 
  • the funded implementation of evidence based safe staffing levels in all acute medical and surgical areas, and the acute floor, by the end of 2021, with guaranteed yearly funding. This will start with €5m in funding for safe staffing levels in 2019, with extra funding in 2020 and 2021 and each year thereafter;   
  • an Expert Independently chaired group to review our professions. Specifically, this group must deal with the INMO claims for CNM/CMM and related grades and outstanding awards for CN/MM3, ADON/DON/M and linked grades taking account of the impact of the higher staff Nurse Enhanced grade. This review to be concluded by April next year, to ensure it forms part of the implementation of the successor to the current public service pay agreement (Public Service Stability Agreement - PSSA);   
  • location allowance worth €2,230 and qualification allowances worth €3,350 expanded to nurses and midwives in surgical and medical areas and to those in maternity services in hospitals or the community ((backdated to 1st March 2019);  
  • a 20% increase to all location and qualification allowances, by €372 to €2,230 and by €559 to €3,350 respectively (backdated to 1st March 2019)  
  • speedier pay increases for new nurses and midwives, who will skip the second increment; 
  • newly qualifying nurses will be paid minimum of €35,800 after one year and three months; 
  • access to Senior Staff Nurse/Midwife after 17 years, (not the current 20) ensuring higher life time earnings and higher pension on retirement;  
  • nurses working alongside or supervising social care workers in intellectual disability services will be upgraded to CNN/CMM1;   
  • 2% of the nursing/midwifery workforce are to be made up of Advanced Nurse/ Midwife Practitioners (additional 500 posts);  
  • all Public Health Nurses will receive increases backdated to March 1st, 2019- existing allowances increase by €559 and those not in receipt of allowances will be eligible for maternity location allowance €2230. In addition, the PHN salary scale to be reviewed by expert group.   
  • support for education and training; and  
  • continuing in the public pay agreement, meaning a 1.75% pay rise this year, and 2% next year, on top of what is above.
 
The Context
 
There are range of benefits which represent the beginning of real and positive change for the profession as a whole:
 
• these proposals offer the best possible chance to realise a positive working environment for nurses and midwives. The combination of dependency based staffing and better pay creates a real opportunity to recruit and retain nurses and midwives. A stable workforce is the key to safer working environments and improved patient outcomes; 
 
• the Labour Court describes these proposals in two phases:
 
Phase 1: improving conditions – pay and staffing for nurses and midwives; and 
 
Phase 2:  the expert review of the professions and salaries of nurse/midwife managers to commence immediately on acceptance of these proposals and to complete it’s work by end of April 2020;
 
  • we now have proposals that offers pay improvements by increased basic pay, increased allowance and significant expansion of the areas now covered by allowances, staffing ratio tools to determine correct staffing requirements, an expert review with international nursing expertise to look at the modern professions of nursing and midwifery have become and place a modern-day value on that;
  • by accepting these proposals, the benefits begin to apply immediately, and the expert review commences it work; and 
  • if rejected none of the proposals set out will apply.
 
All members are requested to attend information sessions in your workplaces over the next three weeks, and to vote when you have read all the documentation that make up these proposals. Dates of the meetings will be advised to you via your Industrial Relations officer. 
 
Thank you for your attention to this update.
 
Is Mise
 
 
PHIL Ni SHEAGHDHA
General Secretary 
 
 
 
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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