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Ballot due despite concerns

05 Sep 2014

IMO National Director of Industrial Relations Steve Tweed

IMO members affected by new Labour Relations Commission (LRC) consultants pay scale proposals are expected to ballot on the plan shortly, despite concerns remaining that the length of the pay scale may still be a barrier to filling some posts.

“The framework to be developed may mitigate against this, but it is too early to say,” IMO National Director of Industrial Relations Steve Tweed said. Any recommendation on an acceptance of the new pay scale was set to be jointly decided by the IMO Consultant Committee and the union’s NCHD Committee, which were scheduled to meet on Tuesday (September 2).

Government agreement this week that the IMO can have two nominees on an advisory committee — being set up to decide how many credits applicants for consultant posts should get for previous experience — is regarded as a key development by the IMO. This committee, chaired by Prof Eilis McGovern, is to produce a framework that will determine the pay point at which applicants will be appointed. An appeal mechanism has been built into the process, with any appeal by an applicant going to the Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), Kieran Mulvey.

The HSE decision to advertise new consultant positions on an ad hoc contract “will further undermine any remaining trust and waste the opportunity to resolve the consultant recruitment and retention crisis”, the IHCA has maintained. The Association warned of an agenda “to use the new proposals to gag consultants”. The lack of clarity and the proposal to pay increments over a 12-year period also gave rise to a “serious concern that the proposals are designed to potentially penalise consultants for highlighting patient safety issues and deficiencies in front-line resources,” the IHCA President Dr Gerard Crotty said.

The Department of Health rejected any suggestion that incremental pay scales provided a mechanism for gagging consultants. “This has no basis,” the Department said. “The IHCA and the IMO both agreed to the 2008 Consultant Contract which included incremental scales for new entrants.”

Relevant service, post-certification of satisfactory completion of specialist training, is to be considered for the purposes of placement on the revised pay scale. A specific committee is to be established tasked with setting a framework for the application of incremental credits that take account of relevant and appropriate service.

5 September 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times