Cork nurses reject government attempts to stretch LC recommendations

Cork nurses reject government attempts to stretch LC recommendations
Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) on an official picket at Cork University Hospital and Cork University Maternity Hospital in February.Pic; Larry Cummins

The Government’s attempts to alter the Labour Court recommendations set out to resolve the nursing dispute were rejected by Cork nurses and midwives and rightly so, according to union representative Liam Conway.

It was revealed earlier this week that the nurses’ dispute is going back to the Labour Court after talks between the Government and unions broke down.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has labelled the Government’s draft contracts as “unreasonable” and has rejected them.

A ballot of INMO members, due to take place on Monday, has been postponed by two weeks.

The INMO’s executive council will meet again on March 20.

“From our local perspective, the attempted stretching of the limits set by the Labour Court has been rightly rejected,” said Liam Conway, INMO industrial relations officer for Cork.

“It would simply not work on a practical level for members, management and the services,” he added.

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the two sides are very far apart in negotiations.

“The executive council have today considered the matter and it is now agreed that the matters will be agreed to the Labour Court and the Labour Court will be asked to look at the positions,” she said.

“We are deeply disappointed with the Government’s attempt to stretch the limits set by the Labour Court in these contract talks.

“Government insistence on unreasonable contract terms would put nurses and midwives in some of the most insecure jobs in Ireland, allowing unilateral changes to work locations and hours.

“We will not allow this.”

Ms Ni Sheaghdha added that the Government’s contract proposals “would only worsen the recruitment and retention problems”.

“We believe that the Government’s proposed contract goes far beyond the Labour Court recommendation and will be making this case firmly to the Court on behalf of our members,” she explained.

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