Sunday 20 August 2017

Nurses set to demand 12pc pay hike, union boss warns

Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Picture: Tom Burke
Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Picture: Tom Burke

Anne-Marie Walsh

A union leader has warned that the "trade union family" will have to get the message that a 12pc pay rise for nurses to stop them emigrating has to be addressed.

General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Liam Doran admitted some unions are likely to raise "questions" about the claim to be tabled at talks on a new public sector pay deal this month, but refused to say which ones.

However, sources revealed that Siptu and Impact are the unions that represent health professionals with third-level degrees that Mr Doran's 40,000 members are seeking equal pay with.

The INMO revealed there may be opposition to the union's stance, as some of the health grades believe they have suffered worse cuts than nurses.

Read More: 'Ongoing crisis' - Over 36,000 people on hospital trolleys in the first four months of 2017

Nurses will seek to be put on a higher pay scale on top of any pay rises agreed for public servants at the talks on a deal to extend the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

"Those [managers] who sit in ivory towers in Merrion Street are going to have to get the message," said Mr Doran.

"Politically they're going to have to get the message this has to be addressed, and our trade union family are going to have to get the message this has to be addressed as well."

He said changing the "relative position" of any grade or group within the public service is "always looked at closely by everybody else" and he was sure that will happen this time.

Read More: Pay and conditions driving nursing students to leave

The union is demanding the wage increase as a result of staff shortages and difficulty halting an exodus of nurses abroad.

It has already signed off on a deal worth at least €20m with the HSE in recognition of this.

Meanwhile, Mr Doran said he is not "overly concerned" about the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital but urged Health Minister Simon Harris to get on with opening it.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News