SIPTU representatives attended a mental health nursing national implementation group this morning (Friday, September 9th). This group was established under the terms of the recently negotiated national agreement for mental health nursing, under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission.
The terms of the agreement negotiated provide for a number of measures designed to support recruitment and retention within mental health nursing services.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis said: “This national group will meet fortnightly to monitor and address any roadblocks identified which are causing obstruction to the implementation of the national agreement. SIPTU will be party to all of these meetings. The national group will issue guidance or determinations to address any anomalies/issues arising in an effort to ensure that the implementation of the national agreement is progressed with priority and terms of reference will be agreed in the coming days to provide for same.”
Mr Figgis also said specific admin support will be provided to the group to ensure that appropriate and speedy progression of issues can be secured.
“SIPTU highlighted a number of concerns relating to the permanent contracting of temporary nurses. The HSE has confirmed that it has written to the Chief Officers in all areas outlining the importance of progressing the terms of the national agreement. It was agreed that direct contact will be made in some of the areas identified with a follow-up as appropriate.”
Additional information for members
- Corporate Employee Relations has confirmed that it has received a number of circulars from the relevant departments which have given effect to a number of points agreed within the national agreement. These include confirmation of pay reference for retirees returning to work in the short term and indeed sanction of the allowance recognising the role in the community.
- It is expected that a circular will issue in the coming days instructing all HSE areas to give effect to the new allowance recognising the role in the community as and from the 1st September 2016 as per the terms of the national agreement (see below). There is no change for existing beneficiaries of the current ‘Community Allowance’.
- There is no change for existing beneficiaries of the current ‘Community Allowance’.
- Corporate Employee Relations also confirmed that correspondence had been issued by the National Director for Mental Health re: replacement posts, timelines for recruitment, overtime rates and increased hours for part-time staff.
- Corporate Employee Relations confirmed that the additional 60 nurse training places for 2016 have been divided evenly across the 12 areas. There are 5 additional places in each area as confirmed at today’s meeting.
In addition to the above, reference was made to the importance of advancing national engagement on the role of the advanced nurse practitioner and 24/7 Crisis Intervention Teams.