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LRC new entrant deal is rejected

07 Nov 2014

Leo Varadkar

Following the IMO’s ballot on the new entrant consultant deal, the Government is now considering options for filling 226 specialist vacancies across the country. IMO doctors have rejected Labour Relations Commission (LRC) proposals for a new consultant pay scale by a margin of four to one.

The result is “very disappointing”, the Minister for Health, Dr Leo Varadkar said. “The proposed salary scale ranging from €127,000 to €175,000 is very good by any reckoning. The real losers are patients.” The IMO warned of a “crisis” as doctors voted to reject proposals on pay and career structures. The IHCA said it seeks a “full reversal” of the 30 per cent pay cut for new entrant consultants “and not the partial reversal included in the LRC proposals, which has been overwhelmingly rejected by NCHDs”.

IMO newly appointed consultants and NCHD members voted to reject proposals put forward by health service management on pay and career structures for new entrant consultants by a margin of 83 per cent to 17 per cent in the ballot concluded on Friday, October 31.

Steve Tweed, IMO Industrial Relations Director, said the rejection of the proposals was unsurprising: “We repeatedly warned the HSE that the proposals put forward by management through the LRC were insufficient to secure the support of our members and would in fact still amount to a two-tier system of pay for consultants working side-by-side and doing exactly the same work with the same level of responsibility.

“The Government ignored the principle of equal pay for equal work and now must deal with the consequences of up to 300 vacant consultant posts across the Irish hospital system. That number is set to rise over the coming months.”

Tweed continued: “This ballot must be a wake up call for the Minister for Health and the HSE. We should be appointing highly trained Irish doctors to these posts and not effectively forcing them to work abroad in hospitals where they are valued more and can deliver care in a properly structured and resourced environment.”

He said the Minister needed to sit down with the IMO to reconsider the options. “If we lose this generation of consultants we may never replace them and our health services will be much the poorer for decades to come.”

Gary Culliton

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