Nurses to meet on Wednesday to establish date for ballot on pay recommendation

INMO general secretary describes Labour Court recommendation as ‘progress’

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha at the Labour Court. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha at the Labour Court. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The leadership of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) will meet on Wednesday to establish a time frame for a ballot of members on a Labour Court recommendation that could bring an end to the union’s rolling strike campaign.

The recommendation will first be discussed by the INMO executive council, and then members will be consulted through a variety of methods, including the union’s strike committees, one of which has been set up in every workplace.

Speaking at the union’s headquarters on Monday evening, INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha described the recommendation as “progress”.

“I think we have a lot of work to do. We have certain aspects that require further negotiation,” she said.

The union would debate the merits of the recommendation over the coming three weeks, she said, before a ballot is held.

The INMO would not comment on the content of the recommendation on Monday night, but it is understood to contain some detail on “enhanced roles” for union members, as well as potential changes to salary scales and allowances. How these proposed changes go down with members will be key to determining whether the Labour Court proposals are accepted or rejected.

“There are many aspects of the recommendation that require deeper scrutiny by our executive in the first instance, and by our membership in general,” Ms Ní Sheaghda said, adding that the union will put a “full picture” to members over the next three weeks.

Disappointment

Asked if there was a risk that the INMO members could be disappointed by the deal, she said: “There’s always a risk, but for us right now our focus is on getting the correct information, the detailed information, to our members and giving them an opportunity to consider the full picture.”

The Labour Court recommendation came after marathon talks it brokered last weekend between the INMO, the Health Service Executive, the Department of Public Expenditure and other government departments.

Ms Ní Sheaghda praised the efforts made by the Labour Court over the weekend, adding that the executive council specifically wanted to thank it for the role it played.

“For the moment, the important piece is our members will this evening be aware that the Labour Court has taken arguments that have been made on their behalf on board,” she said.