As you are no doubt aware the IMO had the media launch of the 24 No More – Enough Is Enough Campaign last Monday 15th July. We have had excellent media coverage so far and the relevant TV and radio links which you can view by clicking here.
As you are aware we will be balloting all NCHD members on the 8th August. The ballot will be for Industrial Action up to and including strike action. If the ballot is passed a decision will be taken by the IMO NCHD Committee and IMO Council as to what form the industrial action will take and this will be communicated to all members in due course.
In accordance with the Industrial Relations Act 1990 this will be a secret ballot with each member receiving a ballot paper asking them to indicate whether they are in favour of or against Industrial Action.
In order to comply with the relevant legislation the ballot must be issued through the post so please make sure that the address we have for you on our database is correct. You can do this by going to the my account section on the IMO website www.imo.ie and updating your address if necessary. Alternatively you can telephone our membership unit on (01) 676 7273 and they will update your details. Once the ballot is completed and the result known we will have to give a minimum of seven days’ notice of our intention to take Industrial Action. We will be obliged to provide emergency cover which would be the equivalent of weekend on call cover.
Section 11 of the 1990 Act provides that only those employees who are members of an authorised trade union are entitled to picket their employer and avail of immunity from prosecution. Non-union members are not entitled to the immunity laid down in Section 11. It is for this reason that non-members cannot participate in any Industrial Action.
The precise form of Industrial Action will be decided by the IMO council but will most likely initially be a staged withdrawal of service. It is important that we manage any action well from both a strategic and public relations perspective. The initial and immediate aim of this campaign is to ensure that no NCHD is obliged to work in excess of 24 consecutive hours. We are also seeking for the HSE to produce an immediate and credible plan for full compliance with the EWTD with staged interim goals which can be independently assessed. Failure to meet these interim goals will result in further Industrial Action. Clearly there are other issues affecting NCHDs surrounding new entrant cuts, living out allowance, training issues etc. and the IMO will remain cognisant of same within negotiations.
The IMO as your representative organisation does not take the decision to ballot its’ membership for Industrial Action lightly. However, given the current situation and in the absence of any meaningful action from the HSE or the Department of Health we would recommend that all members vote in favour of the ballot for Industrial Action.
Obviously for any action to be effective it is important that we have as high a participation level as possible. As non-members are legally precluded from participating in any industrial action it is vitally important that as many NCHDs as possible join before the ballot is issued. We ask all of you as IMO members to encourage your colleagues to join the IMO and help in taking this fight to the HSE and Government. The higher our membership the greater the impact any action will have and clearly this will strengthen our hand in negotiations.
I have packs containing campaign material, posters, badges etc. available in IMO house which I am sending out to IMO reps in various hospitals. For a number of hospitals particularly the peripheral hospitals we do not have reps and if any member is willing to act as a rep I would ask them to please contact me and I will arrange to have the material sent to them for distribution.
For those who have the campaign badges please continue to wear them as they do help with the general awareness of the campaign.
I will be in touch further as developments arise and we may need to set up a national meeting of all NCHDs in the coming weeks. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact IMO head office should you have any queries in relation to any of the above.
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