STATEMENT: MINISTER FOR HEALTH NOTES DECISION OF THE EXECUTIVE OF THE IRISH NURSES AND MIDWIVES ORGANISATION
The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, notes the decision of the executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. The Minister does not believe that industrial action is warranted and could be avoided.
The Minister believes there is a clear need for engagement and it is essential that the time is used by all sides to find a resolution to this dispute. In that context, health sector management will invite the INMO to meet with them next week.
Notes to the Editor:
- In 2017, the Government concluded an overall Public Service Stability Agreement with public sector unions which sees very significant increases in public service pay, including for nurses.
- In line with that Agreement, in September 2018, the Public Service Pay Commission concluded a review in respect of key health service grades, including nurses.
- The Public Service Pay Commission recommendations would see Specialist Qualification and Location Allowances for nurses increased by 20% and would see them extended to nurses working in maternity services.
- In addition, the Commission recommended that eligibility requirements for Senior Staff Nurse /Midwife be reduced from 20 to 17 years.
- These recommendations, with a value of approximately €20m, have been rejected by the INMO and the PNA.
- The Government has also made proposals to address new entrant pay which will benefit approximately 10,000 nurses to the value of around €3,000 each.
- It is clear that these measures would improve the overall pay package for the majority of nurses and midwives. They show that the Public Service Stability Agreement and the related negotiation process are delivering significant improvements for nurses.
- Both the INMO and the PNA are signed up to the PSSA and under this agreement, industrial action is prohibited.