The INMO has described the 11th hour effort by the Government to get nurses to come back to talks as "insulting". Further, they have confirmed that tomorrow’s strike will go ahead. The second day of strike action by nurses begins at 8 am tomorrow (Tuesday), and picket lines are expected to continue until 4 pm at 240 facilities across the country.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “This is spin masquerading as substance. Government by press release is unfair and confusing to patients and insulting to nurses and midwives on the picket lines.
“Recycling broken promises is no way to build good-faith negotiations. The government’s press release refers to non-pay issues which are already agreed since 2017.
“The INMO previously referred the government to the Workplace Relations Commission to try and find a solution to this dispute, but the government failed to engage or make any proposals. Talks at the Labour Court sadly produced similar results.
“We have identified excessive costs and wastage in the HSE, which could be used to address the pay issues at the heart of the recruitment and retention crisis. But the government simply will not listen.”
The INMO claims to have identified costs which they say could be cut if more nurses and midwives could be attracted to work in the public health service. The costs they believe could be cut include: €100-million spent in 2018 on agency nurses, €10,000 - €20,000 spent per nurse or midwife recruited by overseas agencies, and reduced duration of stay for patients associated with safer staffing levels.
The Government have been steadfast in their position that everything is up for discussion, except for pay increases. However, nurses are seeking a 12% pay increase which Ministers say will cost €300-million. The INMO claim that the savings they have highlighted are not included in the Government’s cost estimate.
A statement released today by Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure, and Reform Paschal Donohoe with regards to the nurses' strike expressed "disappointment" that further strike action is scheduled to take place. The statement also claims: "The government has always listened to the concerns expressed by nurses in relation to working conditions and job satisfaction as well as the patient experience."
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