Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have, following nationwide workplace balloting, voted to accept the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020 by a margin of 75% in favour, 25% against.
This ballot took place, over the past three weeks, with the members following a recommendation, from the Organisation’s Executive Council, to vote in favour of the proposed agreement.
The INMO will now attend the meeting of the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, on Monday, 18th September 2017, at which the overall agreement now looks certain to be ratified.
In voting for this agreement, following detailed consideration on the matter, the INMO will now seek immediate engagement on the recruitment/retention section and, specifically, the work of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC), including the use of independent experts, to identify all measures necessary to address the recruitment and retention crisis facing nursing/midwifery.
In the elaboration obtained, by the INMO, with regard to this section of the agreement, a commitment has been given that the PSPC will issue its first report, involving nursing/midwifery, in the second quarter of 2018. The INMO will immediately engage with this process and insist that this timeline is honoured and the management side sit down, within four weeks of the report being issued by the Public Service Pay Commission to discuss implementation of all measures (including pay) recommended.
Speaking this afternoon INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:
“In recommending acceptance of, and voting for, this agreement it must be clearly understood the INMO will be requiring, through the processes now clarified, progress on all measures required to address the nursing/midwifery recruitment and retention crisis which continues to haunt our health service.
The INMO has agreed that the necessary actions, to improve the relative pay position of nurses and midwives so that we can retain them in this country, will be brought forward and implemented within the timeframe of this new agreement.
In tandem with working the agreement we will continue to insist upon the Department of Health/HSE implementing, in full, the funded workforce agreement, for this year, which will see all vacancies being filled, permanent full-time contracts being offered to all members on panels and all 2016/2017 new graduates.”
Commenting on the Organisation’s Ms. Phil Ni Sheaghdha, General Secretary Designate, said:
“In the dozens of workplace meetings we have held with members, in recent weeks, it is crystal clear that in accepting this agreement members expect pay related measures, to address the recruitment and retention crisis, will be brought forwarded and implemented over the lifetime of this agreement.
It is now incumbent upon the management side to facilitate the review, to be undertaken by the Public Service Pay Commission. We look forward to engaging with the Commission, in the coming weeks, allowing it to report in the second quarter of 2018.
In that context once the agreement has been formally ratified, by the Public Services Committee of ICTU, the INMO will write to all relevant parties, on the management side, seeking immediate implantation of all aspects of the agreement which facilitate the recruitment and retention crisis being addressed."
Ms. Ni Sheaghdha concluded:
“The government and health service management have one further opportunity, under this agreement, to address our parity claim, with other degree level health professionals, and any failure, or hesitancy to do so, will not be tolerated by our members."
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