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IMO pay legal action proceeding with efficiency

30 Sep 2016

The IMO is confident it has a “strong case” against the HSE in its legal bid to secure the release of consultant salary increases due in 2009, and is hopeful proceedings will kick-off in the High Court in the not-too-distant future, IMT reports.

It has also advised consultant members who had not taken a case yet that potential exists for subsequent action against the HSE.

The IMO announced at its AGM earlier this year that it would be taking the legal action on behalf of consultant members.

Since then, the Organisation has met with senior counsel, and has suggested a sample of two plantiffs from an original group of 40 consultants, revealed IMO Assistant Director, Industrial Relations Anthony Owens.

“We intend to proceed with efficiency. The feedback we have had from our legal team is that we have quite a strong case,” he stated in a recent IMO e-Zine to members seen by IMT.

“We have been advised by senior counsel that the potential exists for consultants who haven’t had summons issued, to take some kind of subsequent action against the HSE and others. Of course this will depend on the success of the first case, but the door has been re-opened for other consultants if they so wish,” he explained, adding that approximately 40 more consultants had since indicated that they might be interested in doing so.

Meanwhile, the IMO has criticised the renewal of FEMPI legislation as “unhelpful and unnecessary”.

“FEMPI underpins a system that makes the recruitment and retention of doctors ever more difficult and unnecessary because, as the Government has repeatedly claimed, the emergency that gave rise to the legislation has now passed,” Owens said.

He highlighted that purported payroll savings should be set against an unprecedented number of vacant consultant posts and growing disillusionment among NCHDs, while those consultants who had remained in the Irish system found themselves subject to contractual arrangements that were not fit for purpose, and had to take recourse to law to have pay rates honoured.

“Rather than hail the amount of money saved from the public payroll, the Minister [for Health] should work with his colleagues, and with the IMO, to negotiate a consultant contract that will undo the damage done by FEMPI, and other cuts, and to bring about the consultant-delivered service paid for by the taxpayer and promised to our patients.”

Lloyd Mudiwa

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