Managers seeking to block 3.5% pay rise for nurses

 

Health service managers are seeking to withhold pay increases due to 30,000 nurses from the beginning of June in a move that could trigger industrial action in hospitals.

The managers have cited the Irish Nurses' Organisation (INO) for breaching benchmarking and Sustaining Progress agreements over an alleged refusal to co-operate with plans for the introduction of new healthcare assistant posts in hospitals.

The INO yesterday said the proposals to withhold increases of 3½ per cent due under benchmarking and Sustaining Progress represented a "retaliatory strike" by health service management as a result of the nurses' recent campaign to highlight problems in accident and emergency departments.

The row over the pay increases comes as the INO is opposing a new health service initiative to tackle overcrowding in accident and emergency departments by moving patients from trolleys into additional beds to be placed in existing wards.