Update on Recognition of Nurses and Midwives response COVID 19 Pandemic
As you are aware the INMO has been pursuing a claim with the HSE and the Department of Health since November 2020, regarding recognising the nursing and midwifery response to the COVID 19 pandemic. This has resulted in the INMO bringing the matter to the WRC on two occasions and ultimately presenting our case to the Labour Court in September 2021. The Labour Court recommended that engagement should take place in relation to resolving this matter and further engagement took place in the Labour Employment Economic Forum (LEEF) this is a national forum attended by Government ministers and employer representatives and the trade unions are represented by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
You will have seen in media reports, the Government made an announcement yesterday that a €1,000 tax-free recognition bonus will be paid to healthcare workers. The INMO position is that all nurses and midwives involved in the response to the COVID 19 pandemic should be recognised by their employer, whether that be public or private sector.
The Government made their public announcement yesterday and are still establishing the exact parameters of the payment they announced. We have requested an urgent meeting so that we can hear the parameters, and once we know those, we will be able to address your questions in relation to the payment.
In respect of any employment not embraced by the government announcement, it is our expectation, again, that all employers, including private hospitals and GP practices, should recognise the nurses and midwives working in their services who worked during the Covid-19 pandemic. As soon as we know the exact parameters of the Government announcement we will, as necessary, lodge separate claims with employers not covered by the announcement.
We broadly welcomed the Government’s announcement, as the right thing to do as has been the INMO claim which we have been pursuing since November 2020. We also welcome that the claim, pursued by the INMO is now being conceded, however, it is now necessary to clarify the announcement made by the government that we are doing. It is important to be clear that the INMO position is that all employers should recognise the contribution of nurses and midwives in response the pandemic, whether that is the public sector or private sector.
We also welcomed the provision of an additional bank holiday which will benefit members on the 18th March this year and on St Brigid’s day from 2023 onwards.
A further update will issue once the government has responded to the matters raised by the INMO and other health sector trade unions.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
INMO General Secretary
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