SIPTU HAS ASKED its members to not pay the increased Nurses and Midwives Board of Ireland (NMBI) retention fee.
The cost of registering in 2015 for nurses and midwives will increase by 50% to €150 from the 2014 rate of €100.
In a statement released yesterday, SIPTU Health Division Officer, Paul Bell, said, “SIPTU members are asked not to pay their NMBI retention fee increase and cancel any direct debits for this purpose.”
Our members have suffered significant financial reductions over the past numbers of years including pay cuts, the imposition of levies and the Universal Social Charge.
In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the NMBI said that the organisation was disappointed to hear about the advice being given to union members as, without paying the fee they will be unlicenced to practice.
They also stated that the NMBI does not receive Government funding and that the increased fees would go towards strengthening the body.
The union are requesting that members continue to pay the fee at the €100 level and that SIPTU would advise them in due course about how to do this.
SIPTU has also advised its members to send individual letters of complaint to the NMBI.
There will be a public protest to coincide with the next meeting of the NMBI board which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 18 November. This protest will be taking place in conjunction with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
Earlier this year an online petition from the INMO opposing the increase in fees received a substantial amount of support.
The fee increase
The fee increases by the organisation are tied to the introduction of public enquiries and other legalistic functions by the NMBI.
The organisation also has a number of statutory obligations to meet – which include the training of nurses and midwives and facilitating their continuing professional development.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie at the time, General Secretary of the INMO Liam Doran, said the organisation felt it had been unfairly treated in comparison to other public service workers.
“Registration fee for teachers sits at €65 for teachers for allied health professionals €100 euros… the reason they have – paying the legal expenses – that should be paid by the Department of Health,” said Doran.
Public sector pay
Commenting on yesterday’s announcement that a section of the the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act that conceivably allows the government to unilaterally cut public sector pay is to be abolished,
INMO Director of Industrial Relations, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the announcement was very welcome, and it will be brought to the attention of our Executive Council when they meet next Monday.
“We also appreciate the fact that the government now recognise that the requirement for this measure on a legislative basis, is not necessary.”
Additional reporting Christina Finn