Saturday 18 November 2017

Planned strike action by A&E nurses deferred

INMO chief: Liam Doran warned hospitals and employers had a mountain to climb in A&E strike negotiations Photo: INM
INMO chief: Liam Doran warned hospitals and employers had a mountain to climb in A&E strike negotiations Photo: INM Newsdesk Newsdesk

Planned strike action by nurses at seven emergency departments nationwide on Thursday has been deferred.

The INMO Executive Council reached an unanimous decision to accept a set of proposals agreed with the HSE following a deal that was tabled at late night negotiations yesterday evening.

The news comes after 19 hours of negotiations between the INMO Executive Council and the HSE at the Workplace Relations Commission.

The revised proposals today include a number of 'confidence-building' provisions and clarifications.

Nurses had rejected the original proposals to combat the ongoing crisis in a ballot for industrial action sparking the threatened walkout.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said he was "pleased" that the revised proposals have been accepted by the INMO National Executive.

“The interests of patients are always best served through negotiation and by avoiding industrial action. I particularly welcome the fact that the proposals contain specific measures to enhance patient safety and delivery of care," the minister said in a statement this evening.

“I hope that ED nurses will regard the proposals as sufficiently detailed and robust to address their concerns around activation of the escalation policy, health and safety concerns and implementation of the agreement itself.

“In particular, I expect that a deeper level of trust will develop between hospital management and nursing staff through the active implementation and monitoring of the proposals.

“I want to thank the WRC, HSE management and INMO for their efforts over many hours.”

There will be now be mandatory weekly high level meetings at hospital or group level between the CEO, Chief Operations Officer Clinical Director and Director of Nursing and the nurses representatives to oversee the implementation of the new arrangements.

INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said the dispute was not about money, but about securing patient safety.

Meanwhile, the HSE said they hoped the proposals would increase confidence among local staff.

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