A number of staff nurses and midwives at Letterkenny University Hospital are still waiting on pay increases from last year’s pay deal, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
Staff secured higher salaries and extra allowances following their strike in February 2019, yet nurses leaders have said many workplaces have still not paid the agreed sum.
The INMO estimates that approximately a quarter of the major hospitals have paid in full, with the majority still delaying. For staff nurses and midwives, the allowances are worth between €740 and over €5,000, depending on their workplace and experience level.
Letterkenny University Hospital is one of the hospitals which the INMO says has yet to pay in full since August 2019, when the HSE issued instructions for hospitals and other employers to introduce the new allowances.
The INMO is calling on hospital groups to expedite payment, and for the Minister for Health to direct hospitals to begin payments.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “Nurses and midwives are to the fore of the fight against COVID-19. While they are taking risks on the frontline, they are being short-changed by employers.”
Responding to queries on the matter, a HSE spokesperson said: “The HSE is engaging at national and through our Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) structures to address outstanding applications in relation to implementation of new allowances applicable to nurses arising from the 2019 nursing/midwifery agreement. We continue to liaise with INMO and other unions in respect of progress.
“As of end March 2020, 3,405 Acute Hospital staff had taken up the enhanced nurse/midwife contract with an additional currently 5,334 in progress.
“It is anticipated the rate of implementation will increase significantly.
“In relation to new and Enhanced Allowances payable to eligible nurses, the new rates are now operational on Payroll Systems across all Community Health Organisations.”