Thursday, 7 February 2019
Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements
I will deal first with the question that Deputy Catherine Martin put to me about what the figures say about recruitment and retention. Figures developed by the HSE and the Department of Health that have been shared with us make the point that, over the past number of years, 3,876 more nurses and midwives have been recruited. That change has happened. A report of the Public Service Pay Commission makes the point that turnover rates within that workforce at the moment, excluding retirees, stand at 5%. That figure is 6.8% including retirees. That is the other side of the figures that were put to me.
This also applies in answer to the question of Deputy Shortall. We are willing to engage in the machinery of the State, whether the Labour Court or the Workplace Relations Commission, but we need to adhere to the key condition of preserving the overall agreement that is in place.