On behalf of our President, Executive Council, and all the staff here in the INMO we want to let you know that the INMO is available should you need assistance during the Christmas and New Year period,. We hope that those of you working will have a safe Christmas and new year period and get to enjoy some rest with Family and friends too. For those of you who are off duty enjoy the well-deserved break.
Update on Staffing
This past year once again saw increased demands on the health service, which resulted in a modest increase in the employment of nurses but a decrease in numbers of midwives employed. To balance their budget the HSE has introduced a general cap on recruitment. In our view this goes against all logic in the current environment. We met with the HSE and Minister for Health at the ED taskforce yesterday and raised issues of patient safety resulting from this decision.
(See here).The INMO has secured agreement now that Midwifery posts can be recruited, all posts relating to the framework for safe nurse staffing and skill mix in medical surgical and emergency departments are to be protected and other high activity areas can fill posts via overtime and agency where needed. We have sought and are awaiting a full breakdown of the figures to be allocated to nursing and midwifery services for 2024 – as we cannot accept a reduction to the figures recruited during 2023 and expect that we provide new and expanding services as well. We have made this point clearly to the HSE. The INMO Ex Council will consider the allocation for 2024 when we receive it this week from the HSE, and we will advise you of the implications and actions needed in response early in the new year.
Public Sector Pay Talks
As you are no doubt aware the public sector trade unions have sought cost of living increases for our collective members working in the public and civil service. Eleven meetings over the past three weeks have been held with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with the assistance of the Workplace Relations Commission These talks stalled late on Tuesday night without a pay offer from the Government. Unions have expressed disappointment that talks remain inconclusive, despite 11 meetings at the WRC (Workplace Relations Commission) in recent weeks. It’s now unlikely talks will resume before Christmas, although we did advise of our availability to meet over the next few days in order to conclude a deal.
Your Executive Council met late Wednesday evening and have instructed that the Organisation will, along with other public service trade unions, begin to make arrangements to ballot members for industrial action if an agreement has not been made by January 11th.
The fact that the Government has not approached concluding negotiations on a new public sector agreement with any sense of urgency will no doubt be seen as a disappointment to members but rest assured the trade unions are focused on achieving a realistic offer that you can consider.
We will keep you updated on further steps as this issue progresses.
Redesignation of four hospices to Section 38s
Earlier this week the Minister for Health announced the redesignation of four voluntary hospice providers, Marymount Care Centre, Milford Care Centre, Galway Hospice and St. Francis Hospice, from Section 39 service level agreements with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to Section 38 agreements. The redesignation of the four hospice organisations will take place this February 2024.
This is a very positive step for our members in these organisations.
Please take care and enjoy any time you have with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year period.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha
Building Momentum PSA
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HIQA analysis echoes INMO conerns
HSE Circular, FAQ
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