Minister Harris Welcomes Positive Outcome to INMO Ballot
Commenting on the positive outcome of the ballot, Minister Harris said “I am delighted that the INMO nurses and midwives have voted to accept the recent proposals agreed at the WRC. The measures that were proposed by management and agreed with the INMO and SIPTU Nursing will significantly improve the staffing of nursing and midwifery posts in the public health service and offer serving and new nurses and midwives enhanced opportunities to advance their careers.”
Under the agreed proposals, management have committed to: increasing the nursing and midwifery workforce in 2017, with 1,208 additional permanent posts; maternity leave cover in accordance with the funded workforce plan; offering all graduating nurses and midwives full time contracts; a career break scheme; the introduction of a pilot pre-retirement initiative; 130 additional undergraduate places in 2017; and to offering nurses and midwives improved educational opportunities and career pathways.
He went on to reiterate his commitment to working to invest in and further improve the Irish health service, adding “I am pleased to say that we are emerging from a period of cost cutting measures including a moratorium on recruitment. We have turned the corner and recruitment is underway in the public health sector to resource and develop our services. In the past two years the number of nurses and midwives has increased by over 1,300. Some of the changes we have agreed will take time to embed into the service and I would ask nurses and midwives to rest assured that the working environment will improve.”
The HSE are actively seeking to recruit additional nurses and midwives. The Executive ran a recruitment open day last week, the second held this year so far, and will be attending a Health Sector Jobs Fair in London on 8th April. This is the largest healthcare job fair for doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals and it is hoped that Ireland can attract nurses and midwives, including those who are concerned about their future in Britain following the Brexit decision.
He also looked forward to positive engagement with the INMO, in the public sector pay talks that are due to commence this summer, following the publication of the report of the Public Sector Pay Commission. He noted that “The INMO remains a party to the Lansdowne Road Agreement and as such their members are benefitting from the restoration of pay on 1st April and those who balloted should see some of that restoration in their pay packet already.”