Nurses to consider proposals to avert planned strike

Measures agreed after 20 hours of talks aim to build confidence among nurses

Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) general secretary Liam Doran. The proposed deal requires both sides to come back within a month to see if the new measures are working.

Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) general secretary Liam Doran. The proposed deal requires both sides to come back within a month to see if the new measures are working.

 

The executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation will meet later on Monday to consider new proposals aimed at averting a planned strike in seven hospital emergency departments on Thursday.

The nurses’ union and health service management agreed to examine proposals drawn up over talks at the Workplace Relations Committee which lasted nearly 20 hours over the weekend for dealing with overcrowding and staffing levels.

The new proposals were aimed at building confidence among emergency department nurses that a package of measures agreed in earlier talks last month would actually be put in place on the ground.

Nurses rejected the original proposals in a ballot held in recent weeks.

The new proposals involve measures for spotting at an early stage the risk of overcrowding in emergency units and for operating escalation plans in hospitals for dealing with this problem.

The new clarifications also involve mandatory weekly regular high level meetings at hospital or group level between the chief executive , chief operations officer , clinical director and director of nursing and nurses’ representatives to monitor implementation of the new arrangements.

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said the dispute was about securing patient safety and not about money for nurses.

The negotiators will talk to their National Committee of Emergency Department representatives on Monday.

The INMO’s executive council will decide if the proposals warrant the calling off of Thursday’s industrial action.

HSE director of human resources Rosarii Mannion said it was hoped there would now be a consistent policy on responding to overcrowding.

Workplace Relations Committee director general Kieran Mulvey, who co-chaired the talks, said the proposals added a system for monitoring and evaluating the original proposals to address overcrowding.

As part of the agreement both sides will return to the committee within a month to assess progress.