Update 16.02.2023

Dear Member,

Report from Executive Council on Safe Staffing Campaign

As you will be aware, in light of the chronic staffing issues in our health service and the unprecedented hospital overcrowding seen last month, INMO officials have concluded a month-long consultation period with our members, attending meetings in facilities across the country in order to ascertain the need for industrial action to secure safe staffing.

This period of consultation confirmed to us that unsafe staffing has become the norm across your workplaces, and that this is leading to unsafe conditions for staff and patients and an increase in nurses and midwives leaving the Irish health service to secure safer roles overseas. While these findings come as no surprise, this consultation period has been invaluable to us in improving our understanding of conditions in your workplaces, and we are grateful to all our members who took the time to share their experiences with us. You have asked us to progress the publication of actual shortages on your wards/work areas on a regular basis and we have commenced the planning to ensure this can be done.

Following a detailed report of the findings of this consultation, your National Executive Council has sanctioned a campaign of industrial action in pursuance of safe staffing.

Initially ballots for industrial action will be considered on a location-by-location basis and information will issue to you from your local INMO reps and Industrial Relations Officers regarding how and when these ballots will take place.

However, your Executive Council is also seeking that the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive produce a fully funded workforce plan for the coming winter ahead of the INMO Annual Delegate Conference. If this plan is not completed, a national ballot will be considered. 

INMO Member Survey

We have launched our annual online survey and we are urging members to take the time to complete this important questionnaire. The survey is designed to explore the experiences of nurses and midwives working in various healthcare settings across Ireland, and the information will be used to inform the INMO strategy for supporting and representing nurses and midwives.

The overall results will be published to highlight key issues facing your professions and will contribute to the professions' understanding of workplace conditions, stress, exhaustion, and its impact on nurses and midwives.

The survey is anonymous and is designed so information cannot be attributed to any individual. It will take approximately 6 minutes to complete. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CVVWMFN

Oireachtas Health Committee Examines Assaults on Nurses and Midwives

Last week, the INMO presented stark figures on physical, verbal and sexual assaults to the Oireachtas Health Committee. Paediatric nurse Sylvia Chambers gave a powerful testimony of her own experience.

Hospitals are not just places of care; they are workplaces and your employer has a duty to ensure you can carry out your role without fear of assault. If you are facing challenges regarding assaults or reporting of same, please contact your INMO Official who can assist you.

Nationally, we are also calling on the Health and Safety Authority to establish a dedicated section to inspect and deal with issues in the Health and Social Care professions. We will keep you updated.

Expert Review

As you are aware, the independently chaired Expert Review Group on Nursing and Midwifery issued its report to the Minister in January 2022.  The Minister published this report in March 2022.  The Body made 47 recommendations in total. An implementation Oversight Group has been established and the INMO is represented on this group along with representatives from the NMBI, Department of Health, HSE, PNA and SIPTU.

There has been three meetings to date of the Oversight Group.  The first was to set out the working arrangements and priority recommendations Agreement was not reached at the Oversight Group on three recommendations which recommend the continuation of allowance or those promoted to CMN3, re-alignment of PHN salary to CNM2 and the addition of one point and a long service increment onto the CNM2 salary scale. The recommendations have been accepted by government since March 2022, the issue of dispute is the date from which they should be paid. The matter was referred by the INMO and others to the Labour Court in accordance with the Expert Review Group instruction on dispute resolution if matters relating to implementation arose.  

The unions for our part argued that the recommendations were agreed between the parties as they were referenced in the body of the Expert Review Group as being an important impediment to promotion and an important feature of retention that must be implemented immediately. 

The Labour Court adjourned and asked the parties to seek further clarification in respect of the Public Service Agreement dispute resolution mechanisms and to revert to the Court having explored the matters further in that forum. 

That process is currently being undertaken and members will be advised of the outcome of same and any further dates to the Labour Court to hear this issue.

We will update you further on the implementation of the remaining recommendations as the Oversight Group continues its work.

#IrelandForAll Solidarity March

As members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions we are taking part in the #IrelandForAll Solidarity March this Saturday 18th February at Parnell Square. INMO members who wish to take part are asked to join us at the Hugh Lane Gallery from 1.20pm. Parts of our public services would completely collapse if it weren’t for the valuable contribution our migrant workforce. Join us on Saturday to show your support.

Is mise,

Phil Ní Sheagdha,
General Secretary



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