Nurses and Midwives: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly on Wednesday, 16 January 2019:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— members of both the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association of Ireland (PNA) have rejected the Public Sector Pay Commission recommendations and that both unions have served notice of industrial action in the weeks ahead;
— the INMO has given notice of a strike for 24 hours on 30th January, 2019;
— should the dispute go unresolved, there will be further 24-hour strikes on 5th and 7th February, and then on the 12th, 13th and 14th of that month; and
— the PNA is to implement an overtime ban on 31st January, and on 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th February, with possible strike action by its members on 12th, 13th and 14th February next;
agrees that:
— such industrial action is not in the best interests of patients and that every effort must be made by Government to defer the action by urgently engaging with both organisations and also utilising the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court; and
— it is deplorable that no substantial engagement has taken place prior to this;
recognises that:
— there has been a significant increase in demand for health services over the past decade, with further increases anticipated owing to changing demographics;
— the number of staff nurses has fallen by 1,754 between 2008 and 2018;
— there are significant challenges in recruiting and retaining nurses and midwives;
— the difficulties in recruitment and retention are having an adverse impact on patient care in both emergency and scheduled care;
— at least €1.4 million is being spent on agency nurses per week;
— there is only one applicant for every four nursing and midwifery vacancies in the Health Service Executive;
— there was a 40 per cent increase in vacancies in psychiatric nursing positions from November 2017 to September 2018;
— nurses and midwives are the lowest paid graduate professionals in our health services;
— nurses and midwives work a 39 hour week while all other allied health professionals work 37 hours;
— nursing/midwifery agencies have increased the rate for nurses/midwives they engage with by 20 per cent; and
— previously a commitment to review nursing and midwifery salaries in the context of advances in their education and training, and the expansion of their roles was given in 2006;
further recognises the recent pilot projects on safe staffing levels, and their very strong results in terms of patient care and outcomes; and
calls on the Government to:
— engage with the INMO and the PNA to resolve the dispute and to ensure that any strike action has minimal impact on services for vulnerable patients; and
— commission (while recognising, in particular, clause 3 of the Public Service Stability Agreement, and the Public Sector Pay Commission Report) an independent judge-led review of the nursing and midwifery professions, taking account of the introduction of the nursing degree programme, the extra specialties and extended duties that have evolved and that can be further enhanced, as well as examining the remuneration, contracts, and allowances for same with a view to addressing the chronic recruitment and retention issues.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “12th, 13th and 14th February next” and substitute the following:
"agrees that such industrial action is not in the best interests of patients and that every effort must be made to avoid the potential adverse impact on our health services and those patients who are reliant on those services;
recognises that:
— pay for public servants is currently the subject of a three year collective agreement, the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) (2018-2020); this is being implemented through the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 which provides for the gradual progressive unwinding of the pay reduction measures under Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation;
— by end 2019 public servants on pay levels up to €50,000 will have pay reductions fully unwound;
— the PSSA is delivering wage increases in general averaging around 2-2.5 per cent per annum, with higher benefits for new entrant single scheme pension members and the lower paid, and the PSSA will cost €1.1 billion out to 2021;
— on top of the basic pay increases provided under the PSSA, the Government reached agreement with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) on a measure to deal with the post-2011 new entrant salary scale issue; these proposals will deliver an additional €3,000, on average, over the coming years starting in March 2019 to over 60,000 post-2011 new entrants, including 10,000 nurses; the measure will cost an estimated additional €75 million (€28 million in 2019 and €47 million in 2020) in the lifetime of the PSSA;
— in addition, the Public Service Pay Commission completed its examination of recruitment and retention in the health sector in August 2018 and recommended a 20 per cent increase in the Location and Qualification Allowances for nurses and accelerated promotion for nurses to the senior staff nurse level in order to incentivise nurses and midwives to work in certain areas; the Government has agreed that, if accepted, those measures would be implemented from March 2019, at a full year cost of a further €20 million; and
— the maintenance of industrial peace is an essential requirement of the PSSA; under the PSSA, the parties, including nursing unions, have committed:
— to cost increasing claims;
— to claims related to improvements in pay or pensions or any related matters; and
— that all forms of industrial action are precluded; and
agrees accordingly that all parties should engage actively and positively within the terms of the PSSA, utilising to the degree necessary the provisions of the PSSA and the industrial relations mechanisms and machinery of the State in order to ensure that health services can continue to be delivered for patients without adverse impacts from industrial action.”
- (Minister for Health)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to amendment No. 1 to the motion regarding nurses and midwives. Yesterday, on the question that the amendment be agreed to, a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment again put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 51; Níl, 87; Staon, 0.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.
Amendment declared lost.

We must now deal with amendment No. 3 in the name of the Sinn Fein Deputies.

I move amendment No. 3:

To delete all words after “calls on the Government to” and substitute the following:

“— engage with the INMO and the PNA to resolve the dispute and to ensure that any strike action has minimal impact on services for vulnerable patients;

— recognise and acknowledge that pay is a significant factor in the recruitment and retention crisis gripping the nursing and midwifery professions and confirm that pay will form part of any resolution to this dispute;

— agree an implementation roadmap with the relevant unions regarding how nurses will achieve pay parity with comparable grades in the health service; and

— commission (while recognising, in particular, clause 3 of the Public Service Stability Agreement, and the Public Sector Pay Commission Report) an independent review, to be led by a judge or healthcare expert agreed to by the unions relevant to this dispute, of the nursing and midwifery professions, to report within six weeks, taking account of the introduction of the nursing degree programme, the extra specialities and extended duties that have evolved and that can be further enhanced, as well as examining the remuneration, contracts, and allowances for same, with a view to addressing the chronic recruitment and retention issues and with a definitive timeframe for the implementation of any recommendations made.”

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 86; Níl, 51; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared carried.

As amendment No. 3 has been agreed, amendment No. 2 cannot be moved. However, the question to the effect that the motion, as amended, be agreed to remains to be considered.

Amendment No. 2 not moved.
Question put: That the motion, as amended, be agreed to.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 86; Níl, 51; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Question declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 2 p.m. and resumed at 2.40 p.m.