‘Now We Need Your Help’

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Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) at their Dublin HQ last night

Further to the announcement last night by the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) that its members will go on strike for 24 hours on January 30, with further 24-hour strikes on February  5, 7, 12, 13 and 14, if the dispute over pay is not resolved.

INMO is seeking a 12% pay increase to bring nurses’ pay “into line with other health professionals”, arguing that there is a serious shortage of nurses across the health service.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:

“Going on strike is the last thing a nurse or midwife wants to do. But the crisis in recruitment and retention has made it impossible for us to do our jobs properly. We are not able to give patients the care they deserve under these conditions.

The HSE simply cannot recruit enough nurses and midwives on these wages. Until that changes, the health service will continue to go understaffed and patient care will be compromised.

The ball is in the government’s court. This strike can be averted. All it takes is for the government to acknowledge our concerns, engage with us directly, and work to resolve this issue, in a pro-active manner.

We were due to meet with the government in the national oversight body in December, but the meeting was cancelled. Like many patients in Ireland’s health service, we are still waiting for an appointment.”

INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:

“We entered these professions because we care for our patients. We’ll be going on strike for the exact same reason. Ireland’s patients deserve better than this understaffed health service. Nurses and midwives are now globally traded assets.

The public health service no longer pays a competitive wage, so we can no longer get the necessary number of nurses and midwives.

We are calling on the public to support us. Nurses and midwives are always there for you when you need help. Now we need your help.”

Nurses to strike for 24 hours on 30 January (RTÉ)

Last night: Stricken

Rollingnews

21 thoughts on “‘Now We Need Your Help’

    1. Cian

      We need more Admin staff because there is more and more administration.

      Look at Cervical Check, the Scally Report had 50 recommendations. 49 of these increase the administration burden on the HSE. Only one suggested more professional and public health expertise need to be deployed across the screening services. The immediate outcome will be a lot more administrators, and paper pushers are needed.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Admin causes more admin. Nurses help sick people. I know who I’d prioritise.

        Good point, well made. Self high five.

        1. Joe Small

          This is so simplistic. in this world, there would only be frontline staff and no admin back up. The HSE is an admin nightmare. Many of them are replying to letters, Reps from TDs, preparing answers to PQs. There’s something to be said for the Yes Minister nugget that as long as parliament continues to legislate, more civil servants will be needed to implement those laws.
          On the pay raise, of course nurses deserve 12% and more. The problem is that every other public sector worker will want a similar increase to “catch up”. Prison officers, Gardaí, teachers, social workers – they will all feel they’re entitled to 12% too and might even strike as well.

          1. Joe Small

            I know, but you can’t simply “prioritise” one part of the public sector for pay rises and ignore the rest. All hell brakes lose. It nearly happened when the Gardaí got their sweet deal a few years ago. It definitely would if you gave a double-digit pay increase to a very specific group of public servants, no matter how deserving.

          2. Cian

            Admin staff do lots of stuff outside dealing with TDs.

            Who do you think runs the place? Who does HR? Finance? Procurement? Scheduling? Payroll? Reporting? Training? Planning? Filing? Billing? Equipment monitoring & maintenance? Complain management? Communications? Building Services? Audit? Quality? IT? and a thousand other things.

        2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          Otis & Cian were talking about hiring. I was also talking about hiring.
          I understand your point but you’re arguing with the wrong person here.

          1. Joe Small

            Admin staff tend to be permanent and unsackable while nurses may be agency or trainee and thus easier to get rid of. So, if there is any budget issue, its always easier to get rid of frontline staff, even temporarily. Its silly but true.

          1. Otis Blue

            Cheers,

            It reads as a litany of administrative and governance failures. It’s not as though these administrative resources didn’t exist but rather that the necessary systems were either not in place or not adhered to. So, it appears that plenty of people are employed by the HSE in jobs that they either are incompetent at or simply don’t do at all.

            And our response is simply to hire more of the same?

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    They do fantastic work. I’m behind them all the way in getting their deserved, long overdue pay rise.

  2. phil

    I dont see how Nurses can claim withdrawing their service is helping their patients . I have no problem with them threatening industrial action to shine a light on their grievances. However If they strike , as someone who spends a lot of time in hospitals, they will loose my support. Today I will be writing to the minister to express my just that.

    However, whatever about the rights and wrongs of their demands, they are surely being poorly served by their union leadership.

    1. Eoin

      I think the nurses would say this short term pain and damage to the health system will be worth it for patients generally if it changes the conditions for nurses for the future (more pay->more nurses and better retention->better health service).

      I’m shocked that the dispute has gotten to this stage. Can you imagine the damage of three back-to-back 24-hour strikes in mid-February at the height of the flu season.

      1. Rob_G

        “… better retention…”

        I read in some report that staff turnover is 6%; a figure this low would not indicate to me that they are chronically underpaid.

        1. Rich Uncle Skeleton

          What do you suggest they do instead of nursing? Maybe the staff turnover is low because people stick around to try and improve things, which is what this strike hopes to achieve. There aren’t many alternatives if you have trained to be a nurse. Nurses became nurses to help people. Nurses are going to nurse.

          You can’t judge chronic underpayment in this circumstance by a % figure on staff turnover. You judge it by the amount they are paid, which is laughably low for the work they do and the pressure they deal with.

          1. Rob_G

            What do you suggest they do instead of nursing?

            – some other job in the health sciences line(?)

            You can’t judge chronic underpayment in this circumstance by a % figure on staff turnover.”

            – it it being argued that nurses need a pay increase because they can’t retain staff – this does not accord with the stats.

            You judge it by the amount they are paid, which is laughably low for the work they do and the pressure they deal with.

            – Nursing is a very difficult job, I agree. But while their pay isn’t extraordinary, a €24k starting salary, which goes up year on year, is a better than most jobs with a similar level of education can expect.

            Asking for 12% pay increase is taking the mick a bit – why did they all decide to become nurses in full-knowledge of the ‘laughably low’ payscale?

          1. Rob_G

            I have no idea – I imagine higher than in most professions, what with all the contact with sick people. Public sector jobs have higher sick leave rates than their private sector counterparts, I guess nursing would be somewhere in line with that.

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