Since our last update, a number of developments following INMO representations need to be brought to your attention.
1. RECRUITMENT PAUSE – WRC TO INTERVENE
As you are aware, the INMO is on record with the HSE in objecting to the recruitment pause. We have directly informed the Minister for Health and to the Chief Executive of the HSE that our members are seeing serious effects on patient safety as a result of the recruitment pause.
Over the past two weeks, the INMO has gathered data, with the assistance of the Directors of Nursing and Midwifery, on the actual vacancy rates that now exist – specifically those posts which have been requested by Directors of Nursing and Midwifery and the HSE have failed to fill.
We believe that the refusal to fill these posts is a direct breach of the 2017 Recruitment and Retention Agreement which this organisation and SIPTU brokered with the employers.
The HSE and the Department of Health have refused to alter their position, which is simply unacceptable. As a result, we have now asked for an intervention by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
The INMO’s position is clear:
Commitments to provide safe levels of nursing and midwifery staff cannot be secondary to financial imperatives. To ensure safety, a funded workforce plan for nursing and midwifery is a requirement of the 2017 Agreement, regardless of the financial constraints on the overall health service. Therefore, budgetary savings must be found in areas that do not compromise patient care or the health and safety of staff endeavouring to provide a safe level of care.
At the same time, the INMO is directly supporting Directors of Nursing, Midwifery and Public Health Nursing to protect their clinical authority and to protect the staff who are now working with insufficient teams to provide care.
INMO officials at local and hospital level are also now instructed to insist upon curtailment of services where staffing levels are compromised. Meetings are taking place in hospitals and community care areas with members and INMO officials. In your workplace, if such a meeting is required, please contact your local nurse or midwife rep who will progress the matter with the Industrial Relations Officer with responsibility for your area.
It is simply not acceptable if you are asked to work in short staffed environment.
You are not obliged to provide additional hours or overtime to cover vacancies that have not been filled.
You are not obliged to compromise your registration because your employer has not proved sufficient numbers of staff to provide safe care.
This organisation will support you in this, and we will make these arguments at the WRC to ensure we force the employer to put safety before financial considerations.
2. IMPLEMENTATION OF STRIKE SETTLEMENT
The employer’s unacceptable delay in implementing the strike settlement has been the subject of several meetings, most recently on Thursday 15th of August. As you know, all pay will be backdated retrospectively from March 1st 2019, so members will not lose out financially from this delay. It is nonetheless unacceptable that implementation has taken so long.
The apparent cause of the delay is the employers’ failure to clarify staff numbers– specifically those in medical and surgical areas covered by the Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing. The HSE has confirmed that they are working on this clarification now. The INMO will continue applying pressure until every cent owed to members is paid. A further meeting to progress this issue urgently is scheduled for Wednesday 21st August.
3. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL RESPONSE
Your elected representatives, the nurses and midwives of the Executive Council, are meeting in an emergency session on next Monday, 19 August, to consider the responses from management to these issues. That meeting will determine the next steps and we will notify you of their decision.
Thank you for your attention to this note. Please engage with our officials at hospital and community care level to ensure that we have a single collective approach to these issues.
PHIL NI SHEAGHDHA
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Notification from SIPTU of Industrial action.
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Public Service Pay Commission Report
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Complete Document here
IMO, INMO & PNA met today to consider Public Sector Pay Commission Report
Unions Representing Doctors, Nurses And Midwives To Meet