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Nurses in Ireland will have reduced working hours and increased salaries, but must vote! Voting on pay commission recommendations will begin on Monday

DUBLIN: More unions came forward to accept the new pay commission recommendations. This gives the possibility of implementing the government’s proposed new public service agreement “Building Momentum” without significant opposition.

The announcement of solidarity with the pay commission recommendations by the major unions is expected to bring relief to the government as it faces the COVID-19 and Brexit challenges. However, the Garda and the Defense Forces have come out in protest.

The agreement provides for a 3% pay raise for 3,50,000 government employees in 2021 and 2022 and the reinstatement of overtime and premium payments.

As part of this, the process of withdrawing the extra unpaid hours implemented during the financial crisis of 2013 will also begin.

The ballots for the “Building Momentum” will continue until February 22. Indications are that the proposals will be accepted in an aggregate vote on 23 February.

Nurses will have reduced working hours and increased pay

Leaders of the Irish Nurses Association INMO have announced that the voting will take place from 15 to 19 February. The agreement mainly proposes to reduce the current 39 hours of work to 37.5 hours.

The government has agreed to increase the overtime rate and increase the annual salary by at least €500 each by 2021 and 2022.

The contract also assures nurses that none of NMBI’s existing fees will increase for the next two years.

Each nurse must approve the contract; voting starts on Monday

According to the Irish system, every trade union must agree to an agreement made by the government. All members of the INMO must vote as part of this.

Notice and guidelines for online voting will arrive on February 15 at the mail address you provided to the organization. Each member must record whether you agree with the agreement and return the mail.

 Once the required percentage of votes is available, the INMO agreement will be declared approved. Only then will the terms of the pay contract apply to nurses in Ireland.


Nurses in Ireland are likely to agree, but the Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors has complained to the Workplace Relations Commission about the recommendations.

AGSI and the Defence Forces bodies PDFORRA and RACO have said the ballot cannot start until clarity comes from the government side.

Four largest unions are with the government

The largest unions, SIPTU, INTO, and the Irish National Teachers Organisation, have accepted the pay commission’s recommendations.

Of the 52,000 members of the SIPTU, 91% supported it. It was also supported by the 38,000-member Irish National Teachers Organisation and the Unite’s 4,000 members spread across education, health local authorities and state agencies.

88% of Connect’s 1,600 public service craft workers and 95% of the 3,000 members of the Prison Officers Association support the agreement. 93% of the 3,000 employees in the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants also back the agreement.

First objection came from ASTI

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland was the first union to reject the “Building Momentum”. They allege that the commission has failed to restore full pay equality for those working under the minimum wage and conditions since 2011.

Along with ASTI, the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association has also expressed opposition.

The government estimates that most unions affiliated with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions will agree to the agreement. However, there are differences of opinion regarding the agreement between the non-affiliated representative organizations representing the Garda and the Defense Forces. They also allege that they were excluded from the discussions.

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