Minister for Health Simon Harris: HSE circular provides for a “risk mitigation”  for each consultant post where the appointee does not hold the qualifications specified for the appointment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Consultants body says 81 doctors working at public hospitals who are not on specialist register

 Minister for Health Simon Harris who got Cabinet agreement on Friday for the establishment of an independent group to advance the Sláintecare plan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

This is the third radical overhaul of the health care system in roughly a decade

Bus Éireann said it continued “to liaise with unions and staff as part of a major business restructure to reverse insolvency and make the company efficient”. Photograph: Getty Images

Regina Doherty claims ‘unofficial labour dispute’ cost company €150,000 last week

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

New group to assess impact of eliminating private practice in public hospitals

The Government’s  expenditure report said the HSE needs to start considering how it would manage pensions costs going forward to ensure that it did not impact on outcome for patients

Military pension bill now almost 50% of cost of pay for serving Defence Forces personnel

Recent growth in public service staffing means that at the end of 2017 overall numbers will be approaching peak levels.

Numbers on State payroll growing by 8,000 per year , Government expenditure report suggests

Blocked beds: the budget provided an extra €37 million to tackle delayed hospital discharges, which contribute significantly to the trolley crisis in emergency departments. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Budget 2018: Extra €471m for capital spending; just €25m for shift to primary care

Exchequer spending on the ‘Fair Deal’ scheme – which covers about 23,000 people – increased by about €34m over the last three years to €917m this year. File photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Budget 2018 paper says spending on programme covering 23,000 ‘sustainable’ so far

The Department of Public Expenditure has argued that removing the obligation for public servants to work the ’Croke Park hours’ would impact on the provision of public services.

Retain the additional hours public service staff must work since 2013, says department

The health service is to receive a €40 million package of support measures for hospitals to allow for the opening of new units next year and to improve access to diagnostics and “surge” capacity. Photograph: Getty Images

Increase to cut waiting lists and provide more homecare packages and transitional beds

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association  is to write to the Medical Council about the issue this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Consultants’ body to tell Medical Council crisis is due to HSE difficulties recruiting and retaining staff

More than 90,000 patients, many elderly and frail, received some part of their acute hospital care on trolleys last year, and this number looks very likely to increase this winter, conference told

Avoidable deaths taking place in hospitals due to unacceptable treatment delays -- IHCA

‘Will politicians, backed by clinicians, be willing to stand up to drinks industry?’ Minister asks

Simon Harris  was very pleased that the HSE apologised very quickly and was investigating how the incident could possibly have happened.

Parents do not expect child to come into contact with bleach at dentists, Minister says

Minister for Health Simon Harris: decoupling  private practice from public hospitals, as recommended in  the Government’s Sláintecare report, “is certainly worth considering”.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

IHCA warns reforms could impoverish public hospitals and lead to catastrophic failure

Iarnród Éireann is the ‘new frontline’ in the battle to ensure the adequate funding of public transport in Ireland, Siptu members have heard. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Siptu says it will ‘vehemently’ oppose the underfunding of public transport sector

General secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions  Patricia King said the retention of the 9 per cent Vat rate for the hospitality sector was ‘pure wrong’.

Patricia King urges abolition of lower VAT rate for the hospitality sector in the budget

A restoration of the telephone allowance is also being examined as part of the overall package. Photograph: iStock

Bereavement grant, prescription charge caps and pension increases all on the cards

Siptu members Jaqueline Kirby, Liz Cloherty and Helen Power launching the union’s pay campaign for  workers in Section 39 organisations.  Photograph: Jimmy Weldon

Government claims pay discrepancy for agency workers is not a matter for the State

 Staff at Iarnród Éireann are currently balloting for industrial action as part of a claim for pay increases of about 3.75% annually without productivity concessions

Pay row at Iarnród Éireann likely to end in industrial action, Siptu conference told

Siptu president Jack O’Connor is to step down in the weeks ahead after 14 years in the post. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Jack O’Connor to step down as president of State’s largest union after 14 years

Siptu president Jack O’Connor. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Jack O’Connor claims the proposals would degrade public services and benefit ‘bandits’

Minister for Health Simon Harris “wants to work with GPs and address their concerns” over the free GP care scheme, a spokeswoman said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

National Treatment Purchase Fund to begin endoscopy outsourcing plan this month

There will be no new overall contract for the provision of GP services negotiated with the Government this year, the IMO has signalled. File photograph: Hugh Macknight/PA Wire

IMO also says extending the number covered by free GP care scheme is ‘not a priority’

Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy was released on Friday. File photograph: David Sleator

Comptroller and Auditor General says issues highlight governance problems across sector

The trade union Mandate said this would represent the fifth such increase it had secured for members in Dunnes Stores in as many years.

Union says it will continue to pursue certainty of working hours and full time jobs

 Unions, including the National Bus and Rail Union and Siptu will ballot immediately for strike action. File photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

NBRU and Siptu to ballot staff at Iarnród Éireann in the coming weeks over pay concerns

The Garda Representative Association said the Government move had ‘potentially stored up future grievances’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government backs recommendation Garda bodies should not become trade unions

File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Bus company says disciplinary action will be taken ‘up to and including dismissal’

The working group specifically said Garda organisations should not become trade unions and gardaí should not be permitted to take industrial action. Photograph: Colin Keegan /Collins Dublin.

Analysis: a working group estabished by the Government said the law should remain

 Members of An Garda Síochána should not be allowed go on strike, a new Government report has urged. File photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Government review calls for new measures to prevent industrial action by Garda members

ASTI delegates at their meeting in Citywest Hotel in June. More than 1,200 members of the ASTI are estimated to have left the union between January and June. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

ASTI accuses TUI of recruiting a number of its members during dispute with Government

 INTO members attend a rally for pay equality for lower-paid teachers outside the Dáil, Kildare Street, Dublin, in December 2016. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Union faces backlash from members over decision to participate in the evaluation

Rail passengers could face disruption due to strike action next month.

Union threatens strike ballot if no ‘credible’ pay offer made by Wednesday

Earlier this week, the airline wrote to pilots offering them bonus payments of up to €12,000, deferred for a year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Further flight cancellations loom as airline’s roster solution deemed inadequate

Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Photograph: Eric Luke

Patricia King says unions would intervene if Government fails to act on housing crisis

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “It’s the norm in many workplaces to step aside and to ask people to leave if they’re not performing.” Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Unions counter Taoiseach’s comments by saying performance management already ‘robust’

Ictu general secretary Patricia King.

Paschal Donohoe issues warning to public service groups who do not back new accord

Cancelled operations: elective surgery fell 54 per cent between 2012 and 2016, according to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association. Photograph: E+/Getty

Patients at one hospital wait up to nine years to see doctor, according to submission to Government

Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation general secretary-designate Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the Government and health service management had one further opportunity, under the new agreement, to address the nurses’ claim for pay parity with other degree-level health professionals. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Deal backed by Siptu, Impact, nurses, doctors and middle and lower civil servants

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association warned key targets in relation to cancer care were  being missed. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Consultants’ group says Government needs to invest more than €5bn into health system

Pay deal: some teachers feel the proposed deal did not address the issue of lower pay rates for recently recruited teachers. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Some backed teachers’ pay deal as step in right direction, others found it grossly unfair

Optometrists say treatment delays arecompromising health of patients

General secretary Steve Fitzpatrick: “The CWU, as a part of the An Post group of unions, submitted a pay claim of 6 per cent in 2015. Last week’s Labour Court recommendation of a further 3.5 per cent increase concludes this round.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

CWU accepts Labour Court recommendation on pay increases

CPSU general secretary Eoin Ronayne said his members remain angry over imposition of unpaid additional hours which were not addressed in the new public service pay deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Deal will see wage rises of between 6.2% and 10%, depending on when person was hired

The executive of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland  will have to determine  whether it will accept the majority decision of the other public service unions to support the new pay deal. File photograph: Getty Images

New public pay deal will be ratified by Ictu on Monday despite rejection by TUI

Teachers and lecturers have voted to back industrial action in opposition to the current two-tier pay structure in schools. Picture Nick Bradshaw

Teachers Union of Ireland rejects the new public service agreement by 87% to 13%

Just over €785,000 was paid in fees to Hickeys Pharmacy Group Limited in Dublin north central.

Dental practice received €381,000 in payments from health authority

The Irish Medical Organisation said there was currently insufficient evidence to support nurse-led care in the community. Photograph: PA

IMO urges Government to introduce new attractive contracts for GPs to combat issue

HSE director general Tony O’Brien: in an email in 2015 to Leo Varadkar, the then Minister for Health, he said the percentage rule on private practice had become ‘a farce in practice’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

The State is facing High Court actions from about 500 hospital consultants over the failure to pay them agreed levels of salary ne(...)

Kieran Christie, general secretary, and Ger Curtin, president, at Saturday’s central executive meeting of ASTI which recommended to its members that they should reject the public service pay agreement. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Analysis: Retention of two-tier pay structure remains an issue for teaching unions

Iarnród Éireann: Any pay rises not funded by further productivity measures would have a ‘catastrophic impact’ on its financial position. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Unions warn of ballot for industrial action and reject pay link to additional productivity

The HSE said the salary figures produced were based on a doctor on the mid-point of the relevant pay scale. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Agency doctors in dispute with HSE over reduced fees under new framework contract

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar give press conference at Government Buildings.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Taoiseach: ‘People entitled to fifth best health service in the world’ for fifth biggest spend

The proposed deal  for Aer Lingus staff would expire at the end of June 2020. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Average increases of about 2.6% annually proposed in Labour Court recommendation

HSE director-general Tony O’Brien: the Health Service Executive says it has received no funding from Government to meet costs of pay rises and  pay deals. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Government tells HSE to draw up plans for making massive savings in health system

The State’s hospitals are expected to overspend by €80m this year

Department of Health says HSE’s financial performance ‘extremely disappointing’

Patricia King: she said the reduced rate of VAT enjoyed by the hospitality/tourism sector represented a “de facto subsidy that had already cost the State some €2.2bn  in taxes foregone”

Ictu calls for major local authority house-building programme to be in next budget

Services in a number of hospitals could be hit by wildcat doctors’ strikes in the days ahead due to a row over reduced pay rates. Image: iStock.

Row centres on cut in agency pay to €34 an hour, which HSE says is 36% above staff rate

The proposed new public service agreement does not cover GPs who are independent contractors rather than direct State employees.

IMO recommends acceptance of accord, but says it still has ‘reservations’

Iarnród Éireann staff are seeking increases along the lines of the 3.75 per cent annually secured by other workers in the transport sector. Photograph: Eric Luke

Unions warn that row could lead to new transport dispute if unresolved

RTÉ redundancies: the broadcaster and its director general, Dee Forbes, have been given Government go-ahead

Broadcaster’s severance scheme to be more generous than HSE package

The National Bus and Rail Union said staff were “frankly sick to the back teeth of listening to the jaded, ‘we have no money’ line from management”.  Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Railway firm says mooted pay rise request of 3.75% would have ‘catastrophic impact’

Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O’Brien  at the Labour Court. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Grooms and exercise riders not exempt from working hours law, WRC inspector says

Unions argued in submissions to the Labour Court that there had been major improvements in both passenger and revenue numbers at the company

Iarnród Éireann warns general pay rises would have catastrophic impact on finances

A report on nursing and midwifery staffing will be produced earlier than originally anticipated, the INMO said. Photograph: Frank Miller

Examination of recruitment and retention difficulties in nursing to be accelerated

Aidan O’Brien arriving at the Labour Court on Monday for a hearing about Ballydoyle’s work practices. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ballydoyle horse racing yard appealing WRC notice for excessive working hours

Pharmaceutical spend accounts for 15 per cent of overall expenditure in the public healthcare system. Photograph: iStock

Department of Public Expenditure paper says €2bn being spent on drugs each year

Employers have argued that increases being sought by Unite would represent rises of about 80 per cent over the next year or so. Photograph: iStock

Construction Industry Federation criticises action that targets particular companies

Catherine Day: Heading a new review of the role of voluntary hospitals in the publicly funded health service. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Harris wants three-person panel to report within a year

The Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association said there are now over 589,000 people on waiting lists in Ireland’s public hospitals

Patients waiting up to nine years for appointment at Waterford hospital, report says

Ictu recommended Unite should terminate the membership of the crane operators. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Siptu had complained that Unite had taken about 50 crane operators into its union

VHI Healthcare had the largest overall share of the market last year at 52%. Photograph: iStock

Average premium rose marginally last year by 0.3 per cent to €1,177 per person

Siptu complained to the Ictu last April that Unite had taken into its membership a number of crane operators who traditionally had come within its sphere of influence. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ictu to adjudicate on dispute between Siptu and Unite over alleged poaching of members

Leo Varadkar: Modest minimum wage increases are sustainable.

Employer representatives on Low Pay Commission disagree with proposals

Impact deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said he believed the process set out on the proposed agreement could result in the removal of two incremental points from most pay scales.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Union says talks to address inequities in pay for new entrants should begin immediately

The State-owned transport company says it wants to rebuild its commercial intercity Expressway brand and network of services with faster times and more competitive fares

Bus Éireann also wants National Transport Authority to focus more on services outside Dublin

  Simon Harris:  he is to bring proposals to Cabinet this week for a review into the future role  of voluntary hospitals in our  health service

For decades State has outsourced much of its healthcare services to the private sector

Voluntary hospitals and agencies have service level agreements with the HSE governing services to be provided in return for exchequer funding. Photograph: Getty Images

Harris seeking approval for expert group to look into status of voluntary organisations

Cranes at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin: Unions representing 50,000 construction workers  sought increases of 10 per cent over the old registered employment agreement rates under the new agreements. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Labour Court report on rates under first new sectoral employment order sent to Minister

A planned strike by crane operators over pay which could have led to widespread disruption on construction sites from Friday has been deferred.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Unite says plan to place pickets on sites operated by CIF members suspended for a week

In the wake of the rejection of the proposed new public service agreement by Irish National Teachers’ Organisation members, one of the first things the union will have to decide is whether it will accept any majority decision of the public service trade union movement overall to accept the agreement. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Analysis: INTO must decide whether to accept majority decision of union movement

Minister for Education  Richard Bruton: various measures taken by the Government meant it had gone about 75 per cent of the way towards restoring pay equality for teachers appointed since 2011. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Pay equality between established and new teachers emerges as key issue for profession

Holles Street: Who should call the shots in a publicly-funded voluntary hospital?

Analysis: Such arguments an inevitable consequence of hybrid healthcare model

Holles Street Hospital. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Hospital says it is independent entity and not owned by the HSE

The National Maternity Hospital. Auditors found there was an undocumented arrangement under which the hospital provided support to a semi-private clinic on its campus. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Audit finds ‘significant’ issues of governance and lack of transparency at hospital

The National Maternity Hospital: report says the NMH “blurred boundaries” between the publicly-funded facility and a semi-private clinic on its site pose a risk of conflicts of interest. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Audit says four managers received payments for work relating to semi-private clinic

Cranes on the Dublin skyline. Industrial action by crane operators is expected to spread.

Unite criticises CIF boss Tom Parlon over ‘Mickey Mouse’ cranes comments

The proposed drink-driving law seeks to impose a mandatory three-month driving ban on anyone found to have 51-80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in their system. File photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Alcohol industry lobbying hard against Minister’s plan to impose mandatory driving ban on offenders

Shane Ross held talks on Monday with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), Siptu, the National Bus and Rail Union, Unite , the TSSA and the TEEU. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shane Ross says he held ‘fruitful, frank and friendly’ talks with transport trade unions

The Low Pay Commission has recommended increasing the national minimum wage per hour  by 30 cent

More than 120,000 workers would benefit from Low Pay Commission recommendation

Crane drivers on picket recently on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Construction Industry Federation says Unite seeking ‘unrealistic’ pay rises of 80%

Delegates attending the ICTU Biannual Conference 2017 in Belfast heard compulsory reporting of organisations’ gender pay gaps would “shine a light on inequity”. Photograph:   Photoline

Trade unions urge Government to introduce legislation to force organisations to do so

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation general secretary-designate Phil Ní Sheaghdha attributed the scale of assaults to poor workforce planning by health service management and the absence of staff training. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘Dysfunctional’ HSE spends €77m on agency staff in first 18 weeks of 2017

Ictu urged governments in Ireland the UK to make a public declaration that no existing rights or protections would be lost or eroded as a result of Brexit. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Illustration

Actors’ union warns people working for major TV productions such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Vikings’ may be impacted

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to say that the aim of the new cancer care strategy is to ensure cancer survival rates in the State will be among the best in Europe. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Simon Harris’s plan will warn that the number of cases of the disease will double in 20 years

Patricia King of Ictu: urged the Government to scrap the existing reduced VAT rate for the hotel and food services sector. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ictu will also resist restrictions on right to strike mooted by Taoiseach, conference told

President Michael D Higgins in Aras an Uachtarain.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Higgins says day of arguing for a minimal State is over

As part of a side-deal negotiated in tandem with the recent public service agreement, the Government agreed to provide  rent allowance increases for prison officers and firefighters. File photograph: Getty Images

Side deal will take effect if public service agreement ratified through union ballots

Ictu general secretary Patricia King:   “The housing crisis in the Republic represents a policy failure of major proportions and provides ample proof of how the needs of working people have been neglected.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Membership in congress-affiliated unions fell by 1% in last year

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