Members Update 27.09.19
I wrote to you recently about the implementation of the strike settlement. We have made further progress since then, and members should be receiving increases in pay and allowances, also we have made progress in regard to safe staffing.
Safe staffing implementation
In the strike settlement, we secured funding for the Safe Staffing Framework – an Irish-tested model to improve patient outcomes by scientifically setting staff levels and skill mix.
Following much pressure from the INMO there will be a rollout of the Safe Staffing Framework to medical and surgical areas starting with the Model 4 hospitals and proceeding to Model 3 and 2 hospitals.
The staffing system will come with:
• a new IT system for monitoring staffing and patient load,
• a specific budget line in the HSE,
• an oversight group to implement,
• and eight new safe staffing coordinators.
Furthermore, we have since negotiated that the safe staffing framework will be expanded to the community and elderly care section. This is a significant step forward for our members in these services, which are traditionally understaffed and under resourced.
When tested in Irish hospitals, the Framework improved patient outcomes, reduced staff burnout, stabilised the ward and reduced the reliance on agency.
However the Safe Staffing Framework can’t solve our problems without removing the HSE’s disastrous “recruitment pause”, which has seen so many vital nursing and midwifery posts left unfilled.
The HSE’s policy not only disrupts careers, endangers patients and leaves members in understaffed workplaces – but it also makes no financial sense, forcing many hospitals to rely on more expensive agency staffing.
We have had several successes in overturning elements of the recruitment pause by both engaging at National and local level.
We have made substantial progress in resolving the issue of graduates not being offered full contracts in the public health service.
Over 1,100 graduates have now been offered or have accepted contracts, following dedicated campaigning by our student members and the wider union. There are three locations where issues remain, but we continue to work on our members behalf to resolve these outstanding issues.
INMO campaigning by our staff and members, along with a case before the Workplace Relations Commission, has led to several hundred posts have not been approved that were blocked within his recruitment pause due to the intervention of the INMO at national level.
The INMO’s position remains The “recruitment pause” simply has to go and nurses and midwives have to be exempt. We will continue to lobby, campaign, protest and negotiate until this policy is removed and correct levels of staffing are in place.
We remind all our members: it is not your responsibility to cover shifts left unfilled by management. Understaffing is a result of decisions made by the HSE – it is not the duty of individual nurses and midwives to work hours beyond their contracts. The INMO will continue to seek curtailment of services where there are insufficient staff the workload cannot keep expanding without increased staffing.
Please link in with your local representatives as they will be working with the Industrial Relations officer to agree curtailment plans and next steps in organising members in areas most effected.
Updates will issue on a regular basis.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
General Secretary, INMO