INMO deputy general secretary, Dave Hughes, and I attended a garden party in Áras an Uachtaráin hosted by President Higgins, and his wife Sabina, to commemorate the 1913 Lockout. It was a lovely day and an honour to be invited as president of the INMO.
As a proud nurse with 30 years’ experience who comes from a strong nursing background – with a mother who was a nurse and midwife, and a sister, who is also a nurse – I welcome all new student nurses and midwives, who are embarking on their studies this month. You should be looking forward to working in professions that are highly regarded, in Ireland and internationally. We look forward to welcoming you into the Organisation, which is the only union in Ireland that is totally dedicated to nurses and midwives.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the INMO’s new Student and New Graduate Officer, Dean Flanagan. I wish him all the best in his new role. I also wish all of our new graduates a very successful future in their chosen careers.
This year has been a major challenge for nurses, midwives and all public sector workers. We have faced many challenges in the past, but through the INMO and by standing together in solidarity, we have, over the years, achieved improvements in working conditions, education and training. We will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf.
The INMO attended the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) Biennial Conference in Belfast in July. During the event some interesting debates were held in relation to austerity and its impact.
At the conference, it was made clear that everyone is acutely aware of the difficulties created across the public service in relation to the Haddington Road Agreement and its implementation. All sectors of the public service are experiencing major reform at this time. However, one of the key issues of impact throughout all sectors is the acknowledgement of staff shortages on the frontline.
The INMO’s motion to ICTU in relation to protecting the public health service was passed and we will endeavour to ensure that this issue is kept high on the Congress agenda.
During conference both Liam Doran and Phil Ní Sheaghdha were re-elected to the Executive of ICTU and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them.
Our thoughts are with our colleagues in Donegal who are currently experiencing huge upheaval both to their work and home lives, following the recent flooding at Letterkenny General Hospital.
The major effort put in by all staff ensured that patient safety was paramount in the evacuation. The Organisation will continue to support our members at this difficult time.
The INMO extends its best wishes to the local branch and to all of our members in Letterkenny.
I was recently invited to speak at the National Nurses United (NNU) Staff Nurse Assembly in San Francisco. My talk was on the negative impact of austerity measures on nursing and healthcare in Ireland.
I travelled to San Francisco as part of an international delegation attending the conference. The event was very interesting and more than 1,300 nurses from across the United States along with representatives from over 13 countries attended. NNU was formerly known as the Californian Nurses Association (CNA) but has now expanded across the US.
This conference was of particular interest as the CNA was the first nursing association to achieve mandatory nurse/patient ratios. As you know, this is a major part of the INMO’s agenda and the sharing and learning experience helps us to further progress the issue.
|From the President - On the ground with the president|