A significant outcome for members involved.

To:     CNM2; CNM3 and PHN Grades

Re:     Labour Court Recommendation for, CNM2 CMM2 and CNM3 CMM3 and PHN grades in response to PNA INMO and SIPTU referral for implementation of Expert Review Body Recommendations 44; 45 & 46

Dear Colleagues

We write to you to advise of the Labour Court’s Recommendation, received yesterday 2nd October 2023, relating to the implementation of Recommendations made by the Expert Review Body in respect of the following nurse and midwife management and specialist grades -CNM2; CMM2 CNM3 CMM3  and PHN grades.

As you will all be aware, the Expert Review Body (ERB) was established following the nurses and midwives dispute in 2019. The purpose of this body was to undertake a review of the nursing and midwifery professions, including addressing several long-standing claims relating to nurse and midwife management and specialist grades. The Expert Review Body issued its Report in January 2022.

 An implementation oversight group has been established to deal with and progress the recommendations.

The Trade union groups PNA INMO and SIPTU argued that three recommendations required only a date for implementation and that this was indicated by the Expert review group itself, it had also specified that the matter would be referred to the Labour Court in the event that agreement on implementation could not be arrived at between the parties. 

Recommendation 44 - The Public Health Nurse salary scale to be merged with that of the current Clinical Nurse Manager 2/Clinical Midwife Manager 2 salary scale.

Recommendation 45 - Extend the revised PHN and CNM2 salary scale by the addition of one further scale point and the introduction of a Long Service Increment.

Recommendation 46 - The specialist/location allowance currently available to Clinical Nurse Manager 2/Clinical Midwife Manager 2 grades to also apply to the Clinical Nurse Manager 3/Clinical Midwife Manager 3 grades.

The first Labour Court hearings took place on the 18th of January 2023 it was adjourned as the employer argued the Labour Court could not issue a recommendation due to the potential to destabilise the public service agreement. The Trade unions disagreed, and the Labour Court asked the parties to revert having sought the assistance of the Public service dispute resolution structures – this was completed over the next number of months and the Labour Court reconvened the hearing on the 11th of September 2023. These hearings took place under Section 20(2) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969, meaning that both parties agreed to be bound by the Recommendation of the Court.

The unions, PNA, INMO, and SIPTU, rejected the employer’s assertion that implementation of these recommendations could not occur until a successor agreement to Building Momentum has been concluded. We argued that there should be no impediment to the implementation of these three recommendations and this had been the intention of the Expert Review Body as evidenced in the specific wording of these three recommendations.

The unions further emphasised the immediate need to implement the recommended payments considering the current recruitment and retention crisis in these management and specialist grades.

In its Recommendation dated 30th September 2023, the Labour Court has accepted the arguments put forward by the union side and has stated as follows:

“The three recommendations of the ERG should be implemented with effect from the date of this Recommendation” (30th September 2023).

This is a significant outcome for the members involved following a very lengthy process. The Unions involved will now write to the employer seeking immediate implementation of the Labour Court Recommendation. The creation of a max point and Long service increment  for the CNM/ CMM2 will require immediate engagement with the employer and we will commence this process immediately.

We thank you for your attention to this note and will update you further following our engagement with the employers.

Yours Sincerely                                          

Peter Hughes
General Secretary

Aisling Culhane
Research & Development Advisor

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