25 September 2015
The Lansdowne Road Agreement committed the nursing unions and the HSE to meeting directly and engaging on outstanding issues of: incremental credit for 36 week placement, rate of pay during the fourth year work placement and pre-registration post qualification payment.
The unions met with the HSE today, 25 September 2015 with a view to commencing these discussions.
The unions raised the following points:
• The well documented current shortage of nursing/ midwifery staff, in the Irish public health service and the negative impact on services that are arising as a result;
• the collective view of the unions is that this has been further impacted upon by the draconian cuts that were imposed on nursing/midwifery students from 2009 onward;
• We further voiced concerns that nurses in training during the years 2010 to 2014 were subjected to these cuts and do not believe that they will be treated fairly if they return to the Irish health service;
• Likewise students in training cannot see a future in a service which has applied over 40% cuts to their grades; and
• The view of the trade unions involved is that correcting these issues would be the first steps in restoring confidence to these groups, and this would positively impact on their retention and recruitment.
The HSE were not in a position to respond and requested a period of three weeks, during which time they will consider the matters and revert to the unions on or before 16 October 2015.
It is the firm belief of the trade unions involved that in the event that the employer refuses to engage in respect of these matters, considering the very serious crisis in nursing/midwifery staffing in the Irish health service, we will be forced into a position of consulting with members to commence a public campaign to highlight the need for urgency in dealing with retention and recruitment of nurses and midwives.
We will, as always, appraise you of any developments in this area. The letter issues to the HSE after today's meeting is attached to this update notice for your attention.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha