Mater Private refusing nurses special Covid-19 sick leave – union

INMO urging private hospital to match public service pay terms

The Mater Private Hospital is refusing to give special sick leave to nurses who are self-isolating due to Covid-19, their trade union has maintained.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said on Tuesday that while nurses in the public service who were asked to self-isolate received "special leave with pay", the Mater Private Hospital insisted that similar staff in its facility had to use their ordinary sick leave cover.

The INMO maintained that this policy “would put staff in great difficulty should they fall ill later in the year”.

The INMO also maintained that the Mater Private was refusing to discuss implementing new pay rates secured by the union for members in the public service following a strike last year.

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The union said this was despite a recent Government agreement that will see the State effectively take over 19 private hospitals for a three-month period during the coronavirus crisis.

The INMO urged the Mater Private to match the conditions in the public sector, as other private sector hospitals had done.

The Mater Private Hospital did not comment on the issue on Tuesday.

INMO assistant director of industrial relations Albert Murphy said:“Nurses face equal risk at work. They should not be treated as second-class citizens simply because they work in the private sector. The Mater Private will now be treating public patients. It is grossly unfair that their staff will not receive equal treatment.”

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent