World of Irish Nursing & Midwifery May 2019


Hard won progress for our professions

Journalof the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation

World of Irish Nursing & Midwifery

(ISSN: 2009-4264) Volume 27 Number 4 May 2019 WIN, MedMedia Publications, 17 Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Website:

At the time of going to print, the count of ballots has just been completed. 62% have voted to accept the proposals. These proposals represent substantial progress for our professions. Tens of thou- sands of nurses and midwives will see their pay increase, with more to come for man- agement grades. More will get allowances which they were not previously eligible for, all allowances will increase, and there will be additional promotional opportunities for nurses and midwives. Crucially, we now have funding for the safe staffing framework – a mechanism that allows us to secure appropriate staff numbers based on patient dependency and skill mix. For the first time ever, we will have a scientific method to determine how many nurses are needed and move away from only providing the staffing that budg- ets allow. We did not gain this progress because we asked for it. We gained this because YOU fought for it. For three days, INMO mem- bers stood proudly on the pickets and in services providing emergency care. We used our collective unity, organ- isational discipline and public support. Through our unity, we brought a reluc- tant government to the negotiating table. Where individually we are often ignored, together we are strong. We will now focus on implementing the proposals fully and ensuring that the employer lives up to their side of the bar- gain. These proposals were hard won – we must ensure they become reality without delay. The INMO will use this progress as a base from which to campaign to further improve conditions for our professions and our patients. Over the past months of this campaign, I’ve attended meetings with members across the country. One thing was clear: our members’ faith in the public sector employers is at an all-time low. There is rightly a deep anger and frus- tration at the conditions in which nurses and midwives are forced to work. There is a large gap between the care we are trained to provide, and what we can actually offer in practice.

These proposals will not resolve all our problems – no single solution ever could. But they will make substantial improve- ments to your working lives and encourage more nurses and midwives to practise in Ireland. I wish to thank the nurses and midwives on our strike committees, our reps and members for their incredible dedication and hard work over the past months. They have worked long hours, in difficult condi- tions, under immense pressure, often on top of their day jobs. The manner in which this strike was conducted demonstrated the very best of nursing and midwifery. Patient safety was protected and your workplace committees ran things with pre- cision and skill. Thanks are also due to our president, elected officers and Executive Council for their tireless work and brave decisions throughout this dispute. I would also like to thank our colleagues in other unions for their solidarity – especially Patricia King in ICTU, who gave us great assistance. We are also grateful to the Labour Court and the Workplace Relations Commission for their considerable efforts to resolve this dispute. We also owe the public a debt of gratitude. We work hard for them when they need us, but when we went on strike, they were with us all the way. From pass- ing beeps to hot drinks, it was clear that the public stood firmly with nurses and midwives. As this dispute concludes, I would encourage everyone to remain fully engaged in our union. As professionals with a common interest, we can only move for- ward together. Striking is the most visible part of union work, but the day-to-day democracy and care for your fellow mem- bers is key to improving our workplaces, livelihoods and conditions for patients.

Editor Alison Moore Email: Tel: 01 2710216 Production & news editor Tara Horan Sub-editor Max Ryan Designers Fiona Donohoe, Paula Quigley

Commercial director Leon Ellison Email: Tel: 01 2710218 Publisher Geraldine Meagan

WIN –World of Irish Nursing &Midwifery is published in conjunction with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation by MedMedia Group , Specialists in Healthcare Publishing & Design.

Editor-in-chief: Phil Ní Sheaghdha INMO editorial board: Martina Harkin-Kelly; Catherine Sheridan; Eilish Fitzgerald, Kathryn Courtney, Ann Fahey INMO editors: Michael Pidgeon ( Freda Hughes ( INMO photographer: Lisa Moyles INMO correspondence to: Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.

Tel: 01 664 0600 Fax: 01 661 0466

Email: Website: irishnursesandmidwivesorganisation

Phil Ní Sheaghdha General Secretary, INMO

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