Nurses urged by their union to back new public service pay deal

Examination of recruitment and retention difficulties in nursing to be accelerated

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has urged its 40,000 members to back the new public service pay deal in a forthcoming ballot.

The executive council of the union said on Monday it was recommending acceptance of the deal after it received clarifications from the Department of Public Expenditure on an examination of areas of the public service experiencing recruitment and retention difficulties.

The INMO said an examination of recruitment and retention issues in nursing and midwifery would be undertaken by the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) immediately if the proposed new agreement was ratified.

It said under the clarifications the Public Service Pay Commission would engage relevant independent experts, to assist it in examining underlying difficulties in recruitment and retention of nursing and midwifery staff. It added the commission, on receiving a report from the independent experts, would recommend options for resolving the problems identified.


The union said the report on nursing and midwifery would be produced earlier than originally anticipated.

INMO general secretary-designate Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: "In adopting this recommendation, the executive council believes that the commitments given by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in respect of the work of the Public Service Pay Commission, should ensure that a robust, expert, analysis of the problems, in recruiting and retaining nurses/midwives, will be undertaken and any recommendations implemented."

INMO president, Martina Harkin-Kelly said:“I believe it is in members’ best interest to accept the proposals under the current Public Service Stability Agreement as rejection of same, in advance of the Public Service Pay Commission concluding its work, would be premature.”

The public service agreement, which for most staff would deliver pay improvements ranging from 6.2 per cent to 7.4 percent over the next three years, is expected to be formally ratified by the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in September.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

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