National nursing retention and recruitment talks adjourn

SIPTU nursing representatives will reconvene talks with management of the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health in a dispute over nursing and midwifery retention and recruitment proposals at the Workplace Relations Commission tomorrow morning (Friday, 3rd, March) 

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SIPTU Nursing representatives meet management to discuss recruitment and pay

SIPTU Nursing representatives held a meeting with senior management at the Health Service Executive (HSE), Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, today (Monday, 23rd January), to discuss the recruitment and pay of nurses and midwives.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “We found our engagement with management both informative and productive. There was a robust exchange of views and management was left in no doubt of the determination of our nursing members to have issues concerning their pay and the recruitment and retention of staff resolved.”

At the meeting, SIPTU nursing representatives reaffirmed that the union, as an affiliate of the ICTU Public Service Committee, will continue to forcefully make the case for pay restoration, pay progression and pay justice for its members.

Bell added: “At the meeting, we made it clear that it is our belief that the Public Service Pay Commission remains the best method for resolving the pay issue for nurses and other health workers. However, we will continue to engage with management and express our determination to achieve pay progression for our nursing members.”

SIPTU Nursing Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “The meeting was an opportunity to exchange views and position documents with management on issues which continue to impact on the working lives of our members and the public who depend on them. We have agreed to engage in further meetings and dialogue. There is the potential to make significant progress on all issues relating to recruitment, retention and pay of nursing and midwifery professionals.”


The Lansdowne Road Agreement committed the nursing unions and the HSE to meeting directly and engaging on outstanding issues of: incremental credit for 36 week placement, rate of pay during the fourth year work placement and pre-registration post qualification payment.

The unions met with the HSE on 25 September 2015 with a view to commencing these discussions. The unions raised the following points:

  • The well documented current shortage of nursing/ midwifery staff, in the Irish public health service and the negative impact on services that are arising as a result
  • The collective view of the unions is that this has been further impacted upon by the draconian cuts that were imposed on nursing/midwifery students from 2009 onward;
  • We further voiced concerns that nurses in training during the years 2010 to 2014 were subjected to these cuts and do not believe that they will be treated fairly if they return to the Irish health service
  • Likewise students in training cannot see a future in a service which has applied over 40% cuts to their grades
  • The view of the trade unions involved is that correcting these issues would be the first steps in restoring confidence to these groups, and this would positively impact on their retention and recruitment.

The HSE were not in a position to respond and requested a period of three weeks, during which time they will consider the matters and revert to the unions on or before 16 October 2015.

It is the firm belief of SIPTU, the INMO and the PNA that in the event that the employer refuses to engage in respect of these matters, considering the very serious crisis in nursing/midwifery staffing in the Irish health service, we will be forced into a position of consulting with members to commence a public campaign to highlight the need for urgency in dealing with retention and recruitment of nurses and midwives.

Read full statement here

NMBI Board to consider unions’ position on fees

The Nurses and Midwives Board of Ireland (NMBI) is considering a demand that it reverse a decision to implement a 50% increase in its retention fee following a meeting between its senior staff and union representatives on Thursday, 5th February.

SIPTU Nursing Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “At the meeting representatives of the three health unions, absolutely and repeatedly, reaffirmed our view that the retention fee, levied by NMBI, must be maintained at the current €100 rate.

“The NMBI team, noting our absolute position with regard to the €100 fee being restored, said that it would be taking the outcome of the meeting, and specifically our position with regard to a €100 retention fee, back to the Board at a meeting scheduled for next Monday, 9th February. The Board’s negotiating team indicated that they would revert back to the unions on Tuesday, 10th February, to provide us with the Board’s decision on this matter.He added: “In the interim we stress that members should pay the €100 fee when their personal circumstance allows.  Please note a record should be kept, of any payment, and your PIN number should be submitted with the €100 payment.”

SIPTU calls on Nurses and Midwives to stay united

Further to our on-going campaign of opposition, to the fee increase being sought by NMBI, we ask SIPTU members to note the following:

  • In recent days SIPTU have received numerous queries, from members, indicating they were experiencing difficulties, with NMBI, when they sought to cancel their direct debits;
  • In response to this we now attach, for your attention and information, copy of letter, sent today, to the CEO of NMBI which is self-explanatory. We will advise you, immediately, when we receive a reply from the CEO;
  • In addition to cancelling any direct debits, which remain in place, we continue to advise members to await direction, as to when to pay the existing €100 fee to NMBI;
  • The NMBI Board is meeting again today. The President has indicated that he will update us on their position, re the fee, following discussions, on this issue, at today’s meeting. We will, of course, also advise you of any developments, and response from the Board immediately.

Read latest update on NMBI

DD Cancellation Advice

Letter to CEO of NMBI

2,000 nurses and midwives protest against NMBI fee increase

Over 2,000 nurses and midwives, from across the country, attended a protest on Tuesday, 18th November, outside the head offices of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) in Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

For over an hour they collectively indicated their outright opposition to any increase in the NMBI retention fee above €100. At the protest a letter, detailing nurses and midwives opposition to the 50% fee increase, was handed to the NMBI President.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “The success of this protest is an important step in having this unjust increase reversed”.

SIPTU and other health sector unions have also asked Department of Health officials to examine whether an attempt by NMBI to increase members’ retention fees from €100 to €150 next year breaches the Haddington Road Agreement.


Note for members 

Following today’s protest outside NMBI offices, which was the latest step in our campaign of opposition to their attempt to increase the retention fee by 50% we would like SIPTU members to share the following information with colleagues.

  1. Over 2,000 nurses and midwives, from all over the country, attended the protest today. For over an hour they collectively indicated their outright opposition to any increase in the retention fee above €100. At the protest a letter, detailing our opposition, was handed to the NMBI President.
  1. SIPTU would like to thank all members who attended and those who sent messages of support.
  1. The board of NMBI are meeting again, tomorrow (Wednesday), at which the fee increase is to be discussed in response to the on-going campaign;
  1. In the interim we, once again, reaffirm our advice, to all members, to cancel their direct debits, to NMBI, immediately if they have not already done so;
  1. All SIPTU members are also asked to await further advice, from our three unions, as to when to pay the €100 retention fee;
  1. A further update will issue, in the coming days, detailing all developments in this issue. Keep monitoring

  Remember follow the campaign. Await further advice.

Pay €100 when advised.

Update for all SIPTU Shop Stewards

SIPTU Nurse and Midwives, in conjunction with members of the INMO and PNA, will demonstrate against the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland decision to increase the registration fee by 50% for 2015 having already increased the registration fee substantially in 2014.

In monetary terms Nurses and Midwives are expected to increase their mandatory registration fee from €80 to €150 in the space of one year and with no guarantee of a further increase in 2016.

Our members are determined to confront the NMBI and Department of Health on this unjust increase in fees and have refused to pay the increase already formally notified to them.

This issue is extremely serious and as such SIPTU Health Division is requesting all Shop Stewards, Activists and Members located in Dublin, Louth, Meath Kildare and Wicklow to attend the demonstration which is organised:

VENUE: NMBI HQ 18/20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock Co Dublin

TIME: 12 Noon

Come out and show your support for your colleagues against an unjust and unwarranted attack on our member’s pay.

Contact your local official for transport details



Hold Tight, Do Not Pay and Come Out On The Day

SIPTU members are being asked not to feel pressurised by the NMBI renewal notice and to stand together and refuse to pay the 50% increase imposed on Nurses and Midwives by the NMBI.

SIPTU and other unions are seeking a cap on the fee of €100 per annum under the Haddington Road agreement that will keep Nurses and Midwives in line with other allied health professionals.

Sector Organiser Kevin Figgis said that no state organisation is entitled to increase its income by 50% from a single source and is encouraging all members of SIPTU attend the protest so that their voices can be heard loud and clear by the NMBI.

“Our members should not feel pressurised by the renewal notice issued in recent days by NMBI. They have until 30th May 2015 to make a payment under the 2014 regulations issued by NMBI. The employer, in this case the HSE, cannot discipline any member, or require proof of payment, until after that date”.

“This unjustified increase and tax on work is at the expense of hard pressed people that have worked day in and day out with staffing and pay cuts across the health service – enough is enough.”

“This campaign of resistance can work is all our members stick together and attend the protest on the 18th of November. It is also very important for our members to be aware that they have up until the 30th of May 2015 to make their payment under NMBI regulations so our advice is to hold tight, don’t pay and come out on the day.”

Note to members

Buses for the protest are available – contact your local Union rep or email

NMBI is seeking to increase the retention fee for members for 2015, from €100 to €150. ‌ Nurses and midwives will hold a public protest, to coincide with the next meeting of the NMBI board, which is scheduled for Tuesday, 18th November. This protest will begin at midday outside NMBI Headquarters, 18/20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

SIPTU nurses and midwives are also being asked to send in individual letters of complaint to NMBI outlining their reasons for opposing the rise in the retention fee.


SIPTU urges Nurses and Midwives to ignore NMBI renewal letter

SIPTU has urged members in the Nurses and Midwifery Sector to ignore the recent renewal letter sent by the NMBI, to continue the campaign of non payment of the unfair registration increase and to make sure that they attend the protest of the NMBI offices on the 18th of November.

Sector Organiser Kevin Figgis said that the protest on the 18th of November outside the NMBI offices in Blackrock, Dublin, is of great importance if SIPTU members are to send the message loud and clear that Nurses and Midwives have had enough and that they are not prepared to pay another unjustified increase or tax on work.

“All our members are advised to make no payment to NMBI, at this time, and await further advice from SIPTU and even at this late stage, we would ask all members, who have not already done so, to immediately cancel their direct debit to NMBI so that no payment in excess of €100 is made.”


 The two immediate next steps, involving all members, can be summarised as follows:

  • When you receive your renewal notice you are asked to make no payment, at this time. Furthermore members are asked to wait further advice, from your unions, as to when a payment of €100 (the existing fee) should be made maintaining a record of such payment.
  • Members should arrange to attend the public protest at 12.00 noon, outside NMBI HQ, on Tuesday, 18th November 2014.