Representatives of SIPTU and other health sector unions have asked to meet with Department of Health officials over an attempt by the Nurses and Midwives Board of Ireland (NMBI) to increase members’ retention fees from €100 to €150 next year. ‌All nurses and midwives must be registered with NMBI in order to practise their profession in Ireland. SIPTU Nursing Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis, told Liberty: “These discussions will offer the potential to avoid the very serious issues which will emerge, for the health service, when nurses and midwives decline to pay the unwarranted increase being sought by NMBI. Such a development will present serious problems for the health service and this would appear to be of noconcern to NMBI.” He added: “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 number of years including pay cuts, the imposition of levies and the Universal Social Charge. “They are not in a position to pay increased fees to NMBI, an organisation which has attempted to impose an increase of nearly 70% in the retention fee over the last two years.” Nurses and midwives will now hold a public protest, to coincide with the next ordinary meeting of the NMBI board, which is scheduled for Tuesday, 18th November. This protest will begin at midday outside NMBI Headquarters, 18/20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. SIPTU nurses and midwives are also being asked to send in individual letters of complaint to NMBI outlining their reasons for opposing the rise in the retention fee. Letter to Department of Health – Letter to Dept Health re NMBI Notice from unions – NMBI 2