SIPTU Health Division representatives have confirmed that talks between unions and health service management on an enhanced nursing and midwifery contract, concluded last night (Sunday, 10th March) without agreement at the Workplace Relations Commission. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell said: “Following three days of talks at the WRC, management represented by the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform continued to maintain their position on fundamental issues concerning our members’ terms and conditions. These areas, include hours of work, rosters, redeployment, work location and assimilation to the new enhanced pay scale. “SIPTU negotiators informed management, that their objectives in all of these key areas, fundamentally undermine the terms and conditions of nurses and midwives. They further, firmly and unequivocally rejected the proposed new contract as not fit for purpose.” He added: “SIPTU representatives also confirmed that any management proposals aimed at deteriorating the terms and conditions of nurses and midwives will be firmly resisted by our National Nursing and Midwifery Sector Committee.” SIPTU Nursing Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis said: “It is our assessment that the totality of the proposals either provide little or no benefit for some nursing and midwifery grades and destabilise the entire concept of a workplace location and a structured rostered day. As there are no further talks scheduled, the SIPTU Nursing and Midwifery Sector will meet this week for the purpose of agreeing on a communication strategy and a secret ballot to allow members to have the final say on these proposals.”