Intentions of a three day, 24-hour strike of nurses and midwives across Ireland has been suspended.
The strike, planned for February 12th, 13th and 14th ended yesterday with an announcement from Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha.
The agreement was brokered between the nursing unions and the Governments by the Labour Court.
The last-minute agreement was finalised with a complex proposal with a notable increase in pay by 2.5% in line with a wage increases for public servants under the public service stability agreement – in line with private sector trends.
Key things the proposal includes:
- guaranteed multi-annual funding to maintain safe staffing levels;
- significant changes to salary scale and allowances;
- increased education, training and promotion opportunities;
- an expert group to examine, remaining pay and reform issues including those affecting senior management grades.
The reply from the representatives of the striking workers has been very positive but some healthcare professionals have expressed that the recommendations are failing to account for individual staffing safety.
A number of commentators referenced that over 70% of nurses polled in 2017 considered working in the medical profession abroad – motivated by pay and working conditions.
Fórsa announced it would examine the proposals from the Labour Court for “implications (the proposal) may have for other civil and public service grades”.
The pay increase of 7% is suggested to come to nurses if they vote in favour of the proposals as currently written. If voted for this could see an increase of €2,439 if they accept the new proposals. However only a number of nurses will see a pay raise even within the scope of the new proposal.
These and other suggestions are limited to those in the nursing/midwife profession with an aim to improve conditions within the industry over the next few years.
As new nurses enter the procession annually it is vital that the training within their scope of care be afforded the same educational oversight as they progress. This is also expected to affect future collective action taken by other unions in the public and private sector.
INMO have stated that the proposal from the Labour Court will be put to a vote.