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INMO legally moves to seek a 10-day leave for Irish nurses

DUBLIN: INMO decides to approach Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) seeking ten days leave for health workers in distress amid COVID pressures. INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the claim would be made to the commission next week.

The General Secretary said that this demand was raised at HSE last November. But to date no action has been taken. “And we notified the employer yesterday that it is our intention by next Tuesday if they haven’t responded positively to the claim, that it will be referred to the WRC,” General Secretary said.

Other trade unions in the healthcare sector have also made similar claims. “So the employers met us yesterday, they are considering it, we understand from Government that there is a positive disposition to it.” But there will be no compromise on this anymore. There is no justification for the delay, Ni Sheaghdha said.

“And we believe that there’s absolute justification for those that were really and truly putting their own lives at risk and working in very, very difficult circumstances for compensation – absolutely,” she said.

The requirement of 10 days leave is perfectly reasonable and minimal. “The normal industrial relations procedures would be that the employer would respond, and if there isn’t agreement… we would refer it to the WRC,” Ni Sheaghdha said.

 The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has also sought an additional 10 days of annual leave in the coming year.

Pregnant workers should not be on the frontline

Ms. Ni Sheaghdha said the organization’s advice was that pregnant nurses should not be on the frontline. She said there have been reports that some births were diagnosed with a condition called COVID Placentitis. Although these findings have not yet been fully acknowledged, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn said caution should be exercised.

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