THE IRISH NURSES and Midwives Association (INMO) has walked out of the Croke Park extension talks.
A senior member of the organisation confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the INMO has left the talks. A press conference was held this evening.
In a statement, the INMO said:
The decision to withdraw was taken by the Executive Council when it became apparent that there was no possibility of the ongoing process protecting the existing income of its members.
The INMO has advised all relevant parties that it is no longer a party to the process and will not be bound by the outcome of any agreement should it emerge.
The INMO has also reaffirmed its commitment to continue to take every action available to it to protect the existing income and other terms and conditions of its members.
It will issue a further statement following a special meeting of its Executive Council in the coming days.
The UNITE trade union has also withdawn from talks with Government, saying it believes the the discussions on public sector cuts “have been politically driven from the outset”.
“We have never been presented with an economic case for the proposed cuts,” said UNITE Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly.
Our belief is that the scale of the cuts proposed would be hardest felt by those on low salaries that cannot afford to give more; and that they will add tens of thousands to the number of unemployed and those forced to emigrate.
Kelly continued: “Having failed to get an answer on the economic basis for the proposals, UNITE feels that it owes it to its members in the public service, and to the country to withdraw from what has been nothing more than a political facade.”
We are pleased to stand alongside the other trade unions who are walking away from this political choreography and will from Monday morning, prepare with our members to resist the undemocratic forcing through of legislation to bring about cuts that will damage Ireland in so many ways.
TheJournal.ie understands that SIPTU is still in the talks at present. Impact is also staying on, RTÉ news said. The talks resumed at 10pm.
The IMO said that it left because of a number of issues, including a reduction in pay for a large number of its members.
Earlier today, the general president of SIPTU, Jack O’Connor, hit back at the recent protest by the 24/7 Frontline Service alliance. He said that a solution to government pay problems existed, and it involves a greater contribution from the rich in the form of taxation.
A deadline of the end of February had originally been set for talks over extending the current Croke Park agreement. The talks between the unions and public sector management are focusing on how to slash €1 billion from the State pay roll.