Nurses will move on to a higher pay scale in less than two years – but face curbs on double-jobbing – under a new contract offered to end a strike threat.
The Labour Court has rejected a HSE proposal that nurses work for two years before qualifying to move on to wages that are up to 7pc higher.
Instead, they would move onto a new enhanced pay scale after a year and 16 weeks.
In a new recommendation, the court also ruled out the possibility of split shifts where a nurse might be required to go home for a number of hours before returning to work.
But the proposal, part of a pay offer worth more than €35m, specifies legal limits on double-jobbing will be upheld. Nurses won’t be able to take on any other employment that would push them over the maximum weekly working hours as set out in legislation.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation last night said it was recommending its members accept the proposals and balloting will begin on April 8. General secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “There is no longer anything to fear in this new contract.”
The HSE will welcome the recommendation that would give it considerable flexibility in rostering nurses.
The recommendation says:
- Nurses may be required to provide more services outside hospitals including community-based clinics “on a regular or intermittent basis”.
- Rosters “may provide for a variety of shifts”.
- It also mentions “measures” to ensure an “equitable distribution” of premium pay.
Health Minister Simon Harris said the recommendation was sensible.