SIPTU Representatives attend launch of Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill Mix in Emergency Department Care

SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, June 2nd) attended the launch of the report on Phase II of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix – the policy for determining safe Nurse and Health Care Assistant staffing in Irish care settings. The report launched today specifically deals with safe staffing in adult Emergency Care settings.

Speaking after the launch John McCamley, SIPTU Sector Organiser for Nursing and Midwifery, said “SIPTU representatives have actively engaged with the rollout of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix to date and welcome the publication of the report that deals with Emergency Care. Our Nursing and HCA members will be keenly interested in ensuring it is rolled out in EDs across the country to the benefit of staff and patients.”

“The Union will continue to press for the rollout of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix across all areas of the health service.”

SIPTU calls on government and EU to address key issues on International Nurses Day

As the country returns to normal following the end of lockdown and attention turns to other issues, nurses and other health care workers continue to deal with the risks of the pandemic, shortages of staff, overcrowding and increasingly difficult working conditions. SIPTU calls on the government to properly address these issues as a matter of urgency and recognise the crucial role of these health care staff.

In addition, SIPTU seeks proper occupational illness benefits for nurses and other healthcare workers due to the additional health risks while carrying out their normal duties. We also calling for the rollout of the task force on safe staffing and skill mix across all sectors.

Lastly, in line with our sister trade unions across Europe in EPSU we are calling on the EU to;

1) Ensure that the newly established COVID committee takes stock of the role of nurses and other health care workers during the pandemic and includes these front-line workers and their organisations in the discussions about the lessons to be drawn for the next pandemic;
2) Develop a dedicated Directive on Psychosocial Risks to protect workers from stress and burnout caused by work;
3) Increase the investment of the EU4Health budget into improving the working conditions of nurses, in relation to reinforcing the healthcare workforce. The European Commission should encourage Member States to apply for funding for these purposes.
4) Support collective bargaining and trade unions rights for nurses and other healthcare workers working across the entire health sector.

Unions win campaign to reverse NMBI fee increase

SIPTU members support the decision of the Nurses and Midwives Board of Ireland (NMBI) to end its attempt to increase its annual retention fee, for nurses and midwives, by 50% for 2015.

Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “This decision by NMBI comes after many months of campaigning by SIPTU, INMO and the PNA members calling on the Board to reverse its decision to increase its retention fee from €100 to €150. It is a victory for nurses and midwives across the country.

“Our members from across the health service have been united on this issue from the start. This victory is a testament to their solidarity and determination to see the campaign through until the end. Our members have had to do more work for less pay over the last number years, they decided that this additional tax on their work was a step too far.

“The campaign against this attempted fee hike has ensured that their regulatory body will treat them fairly and not subject them to increased charges in addition to the pay cuts they have endured in recent years.”

SIPTU Nurses and Midwives Sector Chairperson, Rebecca Donoghue, said: “I thank all SIPTU members for the support they have shown to our nurses and midwives across the country.

“We could not have won this campaign without the support and efforts of our colleagues. The €100 fee is a just fee as it retains the link with the fee paid by other health professionals to their regulatory body.”

Nurses & Midwives To Hold Further Lunchtime Protests Against NMBI Fee Increase

Nurses and midwives, members of SIPTU, INMO and the PNA, will hold further lunchtime protests, in locations across the country, today, Monday, March 2, against the proposed 50% increase in the annual retention fee being sought by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)

Sector Organiser Kevin Figgis said: “Members will hold lunchtime protests, which will not affect any services, in locations across the country including Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Drogheda. The NMBI Board is scheduled to meet, in special session, on this Tuesday, March 3, to consider a proposal to amend the fee having sought to impose this increased fee, without any prior consultation, since January 1, following a 12% increase in the fee imposed in 2014.

The campaign of opposition which has seen tens of thousands of nurses/midwives not paying the increase continues to gather momentum despite repeated efforts, by NMBI, to intimidate nurses and midwives to pay this unprecedented fee increase. This intimidation has taken the form of notices saying nurses and midwives cannot work if they are not on the register. In response, the three nursing unions have pointed out that the health service cannot work without nurses and midwives.

The campaign will continue until the NMBI reverses its decision and restores the previous €100 fee which is the same paid by other health professionals.”

NMBI Social Media Event

As a further action in the ongoing campaign of opposition to the proposed NMBI retention fee increase, SIPTU and the other health unions are organising a social media event between 12.00 noon on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 and 3.00 p.m. on Friday, 19th December 2014.

Sector Organiser Kevin Figgis said the event will increase awareness, amongst the general public, and visibly show all politicians, in this country, that nurses and midwives are not going to pay this 50% increase but will continue to pay the current €100 fee.

“On Wednesday, 17th December, after 12.00 noon, this “Thunderclap” is planned to allow every nurse/midwife to demonstrate their solidarity with this campaign. Once the event is captured, from each individual workplace, it will create a massive visual presentation, of opposition to the fee increase, from every workplace across the country.

Our advice to members is to keep the campaign of resistance going and this thunderclap is a simple, straightforward but effective opportunity to demonstrate that every workplace, is fully supportive of, and committed to, this campaign.”

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO MEMBERS

Download the latest update including meeting of NMBI and reminder about cancelling direct debits