Nurses dis­ap­pointed at lack of pro­pos­als to avoid strike

Irish Examiner - - News - Eve­lyn Ring

Nurses emerged dis­ap­pointed from talks with the De­part­ment of Health and HSE yes­ter­day aimed at avert­ing a strike over un­safe staffing lev­els.

Mem­bers of the Ir­ish Nurses and Mid­wives’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion are due to be­gin vot­ing on strike ac­tion from Mon­day week, Novem­ber 19.

The INMO said they left a two-week cool­ing off pe­riod to al­low the em­ploy­ers to make re­al­is­tic pro­pos­als to avert a dis­pute.

The union was dis­ap­pointed that no pro­pos­als were made at the meet­ing but reaf­firmed they were avail­able to meet any day be­fore bal­lot­ing be­gan.

Of­fi­cials from the de­part­ment and HSE are com- mit­ted to fur­ther talks next week.

Nurses and mid­wives are con­cerned that pay is too low to re­cruit and re­tain enough staff for safe care.

Last month, INMO mem­bers over­whelm­ingly rejected pro­pos­als from the Pub­lic Ser­vice Pay Com­mis­sion.

The com­mis­sion rec­om­mended in­creases in some al­lowances and greater ac­cess to pro­mo­tional posts but did not find there was a case for ad­dress­ing the pay is­sue.

The Psy­chi­atric Nurses’ As­so­ci­a­tion also rejected the com­mis­sion’s pro­pos­als in a vote last month.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has asked for a “down pay­ment” while is­sues around the re­ten­tion al­lowance and par­ity with ther­apy grades are dis­cussed.

Of­fi­cials from the de­part­ment and HSE said they would come back to them next Tues­day af­ter­noon with a re­sponse — ahead of the PNA ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing on Thurs­day.

The PNA has also warned of on­go­ing dis­rup­tion to am­bu­lance ser­vices as an over­time ban by 500 am­bu­lance per­son­nel con­tin­ues into the sec­ond week.

The chair­woman of the Nasra branch of PNA, Sinead McGrath, said it was time for Health Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris to in­ter­vene.

The dis­pute is over the re­fusal of the HSE to en­gage in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the PNA when rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of am­bu­lance per­son­nel.

Si­mon Har­ris: ‘Time for health min­is­ter to in­ter­vene.’

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