INMO reveals Mater Private Hospital refusing Covid-19 nurses equal treatment

claire.mcgovern@iconicnews.ie

Reporter:

claire.mcgovern@iconicnews.ie

INMO escalates nurses and midwives’ strike

The Mater Private Hospital is refusing to give special sick leave to nurses who are self-isolating due to Covid-19, the INMO has revealed.

Nurses in the public sector who are asked to self-isolate receive "special leave with pay", which has no impact on their wider sick leave entitlement or basic pay.

The Mater Private, however, is insisting that nurses use their ordinary sick leave to cover any time in self isolation, a policy which the INMO says would put staff in great difficulty should they fall ill later in the year.

The Mater Private is also refusing to discuss implementing new pay rates secured in the INMO strike last year. This is despite a recent government agreement for use of private hospitals for public patients.

The union is calling on the Mater Private to match the conditions in the public sector, as other private sector hospitals have done. The INMO has referred the Mater Private to the Workplace Relations Commission to secure progress.

Albert Murphy, Assistant Director of Industrial Relations at the INMO, said: "Nurses face equal risk at work. They should not be treated as second-class citizens simply because they work in the private sector. The Mater Private will now be treating public patients – it is grossly unfair that their staff will not receive equal treatment.

"Covid-19 is a national emergency. It is a time for solidarity and for everyone to work together, not to play cynical games with rights at work.

"Nurses - in the private or public sector - face substantial risks from their work. It is not their fault if they are instructed to self-isolate and they should not be punished for it.

"The Mater Private should urgently reconsider this approach and treat all nurses equally. They have a duty of care to their staff, who are putting themselves at risk every day to provide safe care."