The Malta Independent 16 April 2024, Tuesday
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Updated: MUMN issues industrial action directives over lack of agreement with government

Friday, 24 March 2023, 11:42 Last update: about 2 years ago

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has issued a set of directives to its members after no agreement was reached with the government over a review of the conditions of employment.

The directives, which came into effect this morning at 7am, cover all the sectors.

They were issued to each hospital within Malta’s public health sector, including Mater Dei Hospital, Mount Carmel Hospital, Primary Care Department, Karin Grech Hospital, Gozo General Hospital, St Vincent De Paul home and other elderly homes.

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Earlier this month, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses said it was planning to call industrial action after talks with the government failed.

In an update to its members on 3 March, the MUMN had said that an urgent council meeting will be held next week when “the directives would be discussed and decided and will be issued to all nursing and midwifery grades”.

MUMN had said it any “intimidation or strike breakers are to be reported to MUMN and will be treated with strict confidence”.

The union had said that after the nurses and midwives risked their lives during the pandemic, “they were humiliated by such approach and shows clearly that the road ahead to obtain a decent sectorial agreement is going to be a long road”. No appreciation was considered and it shows clearly that the nurses’ and midwives’ dedication to "our patients during the pandemic had no effect at all on the central government".

The directives were later delayed after the MUMN received a new set of proposals by the government on 9 March.

Some of the directives issued as from today are the following:

“Do not participate in any elective operation except those operations related to oncology patients, pediatric cases, and life-threatening cases.”

“Code Orange and Code Red calls should be responded to with an MDH Ambulance, not a private contractor ambulance.”

“ED nurses are only to perform patient transfers of ESI-1 patients, patients needing sedation, transfers to ITU and Cath Lab, and transfers of clinically unstable patients.”

“All washing of patients by nurses/midwives is to be stopped immediately. This directive is exempted at ITU, NPICU, and HDUs and patients with several indwelling devices.”

Other directives also included not answering the phone, not taking any messages, and not calling patients from the waiting room. 

PN statement

In reaction, the Nationalist Party released a statement saying that the government prefers spending money to support friends of the government rather than nurses, midwives and health professionals. It said that the party condemns the disrespect Prime Minister Robert Abela and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne show towards health professionals.

The PN said that, unlike the government, it recognises the valuable work of these health professionals.

"The Nationalist Party insists that the State should recognize the work of these professionals by seeing that they are given the best possible conditions."

The PN statement was signed by PN MPs Stephen Spiteri, Ian Vassallo and Ivan Castillo.


 

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