Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 05 December, 2006
Written Answers. - Industrial Relations.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children the discussions she has had with the Health Service Executive regarding the pay claim of the Irish Nurses Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41453/06]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney: The Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are pursuing a number of claims in respect of pay and conditions. I have had no direct discussions with the Health Service Executive in relation to these claims.
The claims were heard by the Labour Court on 20 June 2006 and a recommendation issued on 9 November 2006. The Court did not recommend concession of the major cost increasing claims. Instead the Court urged the unions to reconsider their position with regard to the Benchmarking so as to have their claims examined through that process. I would also see this as the way forward.
In relation to the claim for a shorter working week the Court noted that concession of this claim at this time would have profound consequences for both health care delivery and costs unless effective countervailing measures could be put in place. The Court did recommend that employers and unions explore the possibility of initiating an appropriate process aimed at achieving a major reorganisation of working arrangements within the health service generally.
 Within the context of the Labour Court recommendation I recently suggested that meaningful discussions could be held between unions, the HSE and my Department in relation to greater flexibility, improved skill mix and work patterns. I am glad to say that the INO and PNA have indicated a willingness to enter such discussions and this matter will be progressed.
Dáil Éireann 628 Written Answers. Industrial Relations.