Update Pandemic Payment - Hospital Over Crowding
Please see below for a full update on the payment of the Pandemic Recognition Payment, Hospital Overcrowding and our call for the reinstatement of facemasks in indoor and crowded settings.
Pandemic Recognition Payment
As you are aware, the INMO was the first union to lodge a claim for pandemic recognition in November 2020. Since we first pursued this claim, we have been to the Workplace Relations’ Commission on three separate occasions, further to this the claim was heard in the Labour Court in September 2021.
The Government made an announcement on the 19th of January 2022, stating that a payment of €1,000 would be made to healthcare workers, which would apply on a pro rata basis to part time workers. What was announced by Government did not include those who work in private acute hospitals or GP practice nurses
Three weeks ago, the HSE issued proposals which the unions rejected.
This week, the INMO and other health sector unions met with the HSE and the Department of Health on three separate occasions. Good progress has been made, however there remains matters of disagreement between the parties.
The proposals on the table at this moment in time would cover the overwhelming majority of nurses, midwives, nursing and midwifery promotional grades who were involved in the response to COVID.
We have compiled a summary of the proposals that are now presented at present:
As we are currently back in the throes of COVID, the INMO and other healthcare unions believe that the date to be eligible for this payment must be extended to take stock of current circumstances. Furthermore, proposals from the HSE have not addressed the issue of Private Hospitals and GP Practices. These matters remain in dispute, and we will continue to pursue them next week with further meetings planned for next Tuesday.
It has been another chaotic week in our hospitals with over 2,905 patients admitted without a bed since Monday. There has been no let-up in pressure in our hospitals. With nearly 1,400 COVID cases in our hospitals as well as the huge levels of overcrowding, it is not acceptable to us that there has not been direct intervention from government to alleviate this problem.
We are calling for Government to once again advise the Irish people to wear masks in indoor and crowded settings. There is a clear link between reduced transmission and mask wearing. Removing the mask requirement in congregated settings particularly with poor ventilation, is clearly having a detrimental impact in our hospitals.
To this end we have written to the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Clinical Officer to encourage them to provide advice to Government on the wearing of facemasks. Read letter here
The INMO has also urged other unions through ICTU to advise their members to wear facemasks in crowded settings in order to show solidarity with you and to reduce transmission. Read Letter here
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
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