Wednesday 16 August 2017

Confusion over nurse pay cut

DON LAVERY

Contradictory claims have arisen over the affect of last week's pay cut on agency nurses. A "significant number" of agency nurses are not making themselves available for work, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said.

But leading agency Nurse on Call claimed 95pc of their agency nurses continue to turn up for work.

The contradictory claims came after unions, including the INMO, advised members not to work for lower rates of pay under the new contracts awarded to agencies including CPL and Nurse on Call.

The HSE has negotiated tougher contracts with recruitment agencies, aiming to slash the annual bill of €184m for agency staff by over €40m.

The HSE acknowledged some services were disrupted in Cork, Portlaoise and Cavan due to a work stoppage by a number of agency nurses whose pay has been cut.

In a letter to INMO members on Friday seen by the Sunday Independent, general secretary Liam Doran said efforts had been made under the auspices of the Croke Park Agreement to resolve the issues arising from the introduction by the HSE of new agency contracts without agreement.

He said contacts would continue over this weekend with a view that proposals may emerge tomorrow.

Catherine Arnold, managing director of Nurse on Call, said 46 extra nurses turned up for work compared to the previous week despite the action.

Sunday Independent

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