Irish Water defends payments for legal, audit, IT and financial services.

About 50 payments totalling €740,000 were made to the legal firm A&L Goodbody

 For larger hospitals, this threshold would mean ensuring no more than 12 patients are on trolleys daily. File photograph: Frank Miller

Maximum acceptable number of people on trolleys over coming winter set to be 236

 Central Bank, Dame Street: said it had received legal advice to the effect that the payments complied with the emergency legislation

Department of Public Expenditure not asked to sanction payments

Former minister for finance Brian Lenihan  at Government Buildings, Dublin. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Brian Lenihan’s memos chart ‘very grave’ situation in days leading up to troika’s arrival

The former European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. File photograph: AP Photo/Bernd Kammerer

Newly released documents show State was told to borrow more from EU and IMF

Restricting the Junior Certificate examination to just Irish, English and maths, was among options considered by the then government in 2010.

Comspulsory job losses and abolition of free drug scheme on table, cabinet papers show

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the Central Bank is independent under the statute covering the European System of Central Banks. Photographer: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

Retention payments are compliant with Fempi Act, bank tells Minister for Finance

Members of the AGSI voted a number of weeks ago to reject the new Lansdowne Road deal on public service pay, which the Government considers to be an extension of the previous Haddington Road deal. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

AGSI members affected by Haddington Road agreement could face freeze on increments

  INMO general secretary Liam Doran and  president Claire Mahon announcing the results of the nurses ballot. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ballot of INMO members shows 92% favour industrial action from next month

The Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Attorney General says hospitals did not act outside their powers in making payments

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Allowances introduced after 2010 likely to be scrapped under new proposals

A HSE report has claimed that Abbey Healthcare Ltd, a pharmacy business in south Dublin, received a total of €835,910 in fees and mark-up payments in 2014. Photograph: PA Wire

HSE report shows one dental practice received €362,000 in payments for 2014

Unions  decided to ballot members for industrial action after  Irish Water said it intended ‘to reduce the local authority workforce in the company by up to 1,500 by 2021’.

Unions balloted for industrial action after utility revealed plan for up to 1,500 job losses

Central Bank: has confirmed about 30 of its staff are receiving “retention payments” worth 21 per cent of their salary. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Bank refuses to comment on rumours it will seek a get-out clause from Fempi legislation

 Irish hospital costs are 80 per cent higher than the EU average, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has estimated. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

HSE claims findings in Department of Public Expenditure paper are ‘misleading’

Earlier this year, staff at the two State-owned bus companies, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann,  went on strike on foot of a decision by the National Transport Authority to put 10 per cent of existing services out to tender. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Siptu and NBRU hold ‘frank’ talks with Department of Transport and NTA on issues

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Director claims Varadkar put hospital under pressure following complaints by doctors

Tánaiste Joan Burton: Will also promise to increase the national minimum wage over the coming years. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

State employees and those working for contractors employed by public bodies to qualify

Ianród Éireann also said it welcomed the Labour Court proposals. Photograph: The Irish Times

New talks process on productivity and assessment of terms, conditions proposed

ESRI warns the model of universal health insurance set out by the Government in a White Paper last year would increase overall Irish healthcare expenditure by at least 3.5 per cent and as much as 11 per cent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Warning that initiative could add up to €2 billion to health spending

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: Will urge the Government to undertake further research into the most appropriate system of universal health insurance. Photograph:Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to urge that Cabinet defer final decision on proposals

Unions had warned any unilateral changes to pension schemes would lead to strikes

NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary: warned CIÉ group against unilateral move on pensions. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Unilateral changes to pension schemes would lead to strike, unions tell CIÉ

Doctors’ organisations argue the payments do not take into account practice expenses and overheads and therefore do not represent income for individual GPs.  Photograph: PA

Three GP co-operatives topped list of highest earners with HSE payments of more than €1m

Brendan Howlin: he acknowledged there was no provision in recently published financial emergency legislation to exempt Ministers and advisers from pay increases

Minister says Oireachtas members should benefit from pay restoration deal

Row centres over proposed cuts to jobs

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar  wrote to Tallaght hospital last December seeking an  investigation after hearing details of  allegations made by emergency department consultant Jean O’Sullivan. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inquiry to proceed after preliminary scoping exercise found grounds for full investigation

Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash  said it was well-known  the vast majority of those who were paid the national minimum wage were women. File photograph: Getty Images

That most of those paid national minimum wage are women is well-known, says Ged Nash

PJ Stone said Garda management had used the 30 hours of ‘free’ overtime for issues not envisaged under the Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

GRA cautions over any legislation to ‘punish’ members after pay accord rejected

The pay deal has been proposed by Kevin Foley of the Labour Court. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Pay deal would increase hourly rate of secretaries and caretakers from €10.25 to €13

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: Department for Health outlined recommendations for the HSE’s forthcoming legal agreement on how it should spend its €13 billion budget for the year. Photograph: Alan Betson

HSE urged to plan to transfer tasks between staffing groups

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. File  photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Union warns move could lead to reduced terms and conditions

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: suggested  pay restoration was on the way for hospital consultants and that in a few years, pay rates would  again be in the region of €200,000 a year. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

In autumn 2012, the Government introduced a 30% pay cut for consultants appointed after that date, although this has been larg(...)

Plan includes €10 million to be spent on  new national cancer strategy

Government earmarks cancer and disability services for largest portions of funding

University of Limerick researchers say there is a lack of clarity about status of those working if-and-when hours

Zero hour contracts ‘not extensive’ in Ireland, suggests University of Limerick study

Under recommendations from the expert group employers would have to give individuals at least 72 hours notice of being called into work. Photograph: Getty Images

Government-commissioned report indicates that zero-hour arrangements not extensive

IMO says it will not enter talks on plan until overall new contract for GPs introduced

Gardaí have voted overwhlemingly to reject the new Lansdowne Road agreement on public service pay. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

GRA joins AGSI in voting against deal providing most public service workers with pay rise

The Minister said there was no evidence of increased admissions he had seen that would explain the increase in numbers on trolleys. Photograph: Getty Images

At beginning of September Minister again expresses concern over numbers on trolleys

The International Agency for Research on Cancer report also suggested that red meat was a likely cause of some cancers. Photograph: Getty Images

Executive to examine if changes to hospital diets needed in wake of WHO report

“These figures act as a warning sign for the safety of patients.” Photograph: Katrina Wittkamp/Getty

GP association says figures show that general practice is on its knees

HSE director general Tony O’Brien told his human resources department he was concerned the risks of publishing the report at the time outweighed the benefits. Photograph:  David Sleator.

Department concerned ‘misleading’ document could lead to expectations of higher pay

Nurse and baby at Crumlin children’s hospital. There are more than 250 theatre staff nurse posts   vacant in Irish hospitals. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar asks for move to be considered to alleviate shortage

Iarnród Éireann envisaged reforms which would generate efficiency savings of about €3m over three years. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Company believes savings generated from shedding posts could fund services

About 40,000 passengers had their travel plans disrupted on Friday by a three-hour strike by train drivers; another similar stoppage is planned for Friday, November 6th. Photograph: Frank Miller

40,000 passengers were affected by strike, similar stoppage planned for November 6th

Asti general secretary Pat King warned individual teachers could forfeit up to €6,700 in lost increments, while others could face redundancy or reduced entitlement to permanency, because of the union’s stance on the Lansdowne Road pay deal. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Union chief Pat King warns teachers could forfeit up to €6,700 in increments over stance

ASTI general secretary Pat King has  predicted the next government, with a four- or five-year mandate, would feel confident enough to face down second level teachers - a move which could see closures of schools next autumn in the wake of strikes or lockouts. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Active opposition could cost teachers significant sums of money in lost increments

HSE makes €22.4 million settlement with Revenue over unpaid taxes

Passengers from Athlone, on a train which departed before 6am,   arrive at  Hueston Station on Friday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

More than 40,000 rail passengers disrupted during three-hour strike on Friday

HSE chief  Tony O’Brien has told the Public Accounts Committee in a written statement in advance of a scheduled appearance before it on Thursday that the HSE, which has about 100,000 staff, has an average annual tax bill of €1.6 billion.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

HSE expected to tell PAC it may have to make another similar settlement with Revenue

The dispute centres on claims by drivers for payment for past productivity measures put in place over recent years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Talks between unions and Irish Rail aimed at averting three-hour stoppage on Friday

Train services across the country seem set to come to a standstill for three hours next Friday as part of industrial action by drivers.

Train strike set to go ahead next Friday morning after talks break down overnight

The TUI has said the Lansdowne Road agreement on public service pay restoration, which its members overwhelmingly rejected earlier this week, “failed to address critical issues that are swamping the education system”.

Lansdowne Road deal ‘failed to address critical issues swamping education system’

Impact has warned that new pay rates for health managers could lead to problems  filling  top-level positions. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Impact claims salaries may create problems filling top-level positions in some hospitals

 Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government decides to cut pay rates for health managers appointed in the future

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said telling the public they would have to pay more to managers was “unbelievably politically toxic”. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Analysis: Varadkar is aware raising salary rates for health managers is a difficult sell

New Bill gives Government power not to pay for supervision duties, increments

A blocked An Post postbox in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Union to recommend staff at centre of recent strikes accept revised roster and pay terms

The Government has  moved in  Budget 2016 to deal with anomalies in the PRSI system.

Analysis: Debate on raising the minimum wage rate proved to be extremely polarised

Brendan Howlin says 20% increase by Fine Gael-Labour Government

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar expected to receive money for new initiative in Budget

The financial emergency legislation published by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin will allow the Government to pay – and to withhold – payments to teachers for supervision and substitution duties. Photograph: Eric Luke

New legislation gives Government power to withhold increments until 2018

New talks aimed at averting planned industrial action on the country’s railways are to take place on Monday.

Irish Rail and unions invited for discussions at Workplace Relations Commission

The NBRU has warned of potential industrial action at Dublin Bus in a dispute over pay. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Irish Rail faces work stoppages at morning rush hour on October 23rd , November 6th

Train drivers have already voted for industrial action. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Services to come to halt for three hours on October as part of industrial action by drivers

Siptu’s education sector had proposed that the union should disaffiliate from the Labour Party and instead establish a relationship with community groups and parties of the left.

Union backs proposal for review into use of political fund put forward by executive

An out-of-service post box in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

An Post and Communications Workers’ Union representatives aim to end dispute

Delegates at the Siptu biennial delegate conference. Photograph: @Siptu

Union says special reduced VAT for tourism and hospitality sectors costs €350m anually

Four-day industrial action prompted by row over new rosters and concerns over earnings

A blocked postbox in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Customers can resume posting mail after IO Systems agreement with union

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar raised the prospect of ‘bonuses and excellence awards’ for hospital consultants. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: Coalition faces tricky task dealing with bonus issue as economy improves

Informed sources have suggested any industrial action could involve stoppages on Dart, commuter and national rail services for short periods. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Row centres on pay for past productivity

Leo Varadkar: “Those who wish to do private practice in their own time should be allowed to do so, provided they honour the terms of their public contract.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

State facing serious difficulties recruiting hospital consultants

An Post office in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Mail services remain suspended as a result of strike at contractor IO Systems

 The Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise.

Watchdog describes Portlaoise hospital report as watershed moment in heath system

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar who said the HSE would be abolished over the term of the next government. Photograph: Collins

Consultants to receive €13,000 in pay restoration by 2019, Minister says

Dr Gerard Crotty says Irish acute hospitals are dangerously overcrowded. Photograph: Getty

Consultants association says Irish acute hospitals are ‘dangerously overcrowded’

The IHCA report said  more than 20 consultants ceased private practice in 2014 because of the unaffordable cost of indemnity. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

IHCA warns of impact of insurance costs as surgical specialties come under pressure

.Post boxes at the GPO were closed as members of the public tried to post letters.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Alex White warns parties involved in dispute of impact it could have on position of An Post

The personnel concerned maintain mail-sorting equipment at An Post’s centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Dispute at IO Systems centres on roster and shift changes and loss of earnings

Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash has brought in regulations that will see an hourly wage increase for those working in contract cleaning and security. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Ged Nash signs order to boost minimum hourly wage for some 50,000 employees

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Lawyers express concern at some elements of the changes

Tánaiste Joan Burton said she would like to see a minimum “living wage” introduced in Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Burton favours voluntary introduction for rate campaigners say should be €11.50 hourly

Siptu said  its members would consider a Labour Court request that an independent financial assessment of the company that operates the Luas network be undertaken

Luas drivers seek pay rise of 40 per cent in bid to achieve parity with train drivers

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Primary Care and Social Care Kathleen Lynch  at a briefing  on health projects in the capital plan at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Varadkar hopes work will begin on four new national hospitals within a year

Publicly-funded hospitals are owed nearly €300 million by health insurance companies arising from treatment provided to their subscribers, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy has found. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Hospitals waiting up to 163 days in some cases for doctors to sign off on forms

The failure to get to the heart of the trolley problem in spring and summer left open the prospect of  things getting worse  in the winter, which would also coincide with the run-in to the general election. Photograph: Getty Images

New €18m ‘winter initiative’ is latest attempt to fixed problem

Leo Varadkar on trolley crisis: “I have no reason to believe it won’t be worse than last year and that really means a head or heads will have to roll.” Photograph: Getty Images

Minster tells top officials of dismissal ‘for accountability’ if problem not resolved

Luas drivers have maximum earnings of about €42,000, while Iarnród Éireann drivers are on a maximum of €60,000, but for a longer working week. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fear looms of Luas action at same time as potential strike by Iarnród Éireann drivers

John Bruton: “We would lose the common EU framework for the whole island that has contributed so much to peace and is specifically acknowledged in the Belfast Agreement.”  Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Former taoiseach says ‘Brexit’ would weaken European Union

Impact national secretary Louise O’Donnell said the confirmation of funds represented a breakthrough for the staff

Health service to seek €4 million to meet unpaid premium payments

HSE says the total paid out to individuals for damages in 2012, 2013 and 2014 was more than €208 million, excluding legal fees. Photograph: The Irish Times

Public Accounts Committee told the total includes legal fees of €115 million

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe was presented with a list of six options by the NTA last year.  Photograph: The Irish Times

Rail connection to airport is expected to be centrepiece of capital plan

Plans for underground Dart scrapped

€35m already spent on Dart plans and €150m on Metro North - neither will go ahead

The Government is to extend the DART line in Dublin to Balbriggan by 2022.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Plan for underground rail including tunnel under Dublin city deferred, Paschal Donohoe says

Impact says funding of care service agencies is ‘out of date’

Family doctors should be given financial incentives by the Government to provide more services, the  NAGP has said

NAGP says reforms could relieve pressure on hospital emergency units

The ASTI and TUI will not complete their ballots until next month. Photograph: Getty Images

Threat to supervision and substitution pay which is due to be restored next year

The numbers employed in the public service have been reduced by 32,000. Photograph: Getty Images

May pact began process of reversing pay and pension cuts introduced for staff since 2008

Staff at Irish Water should receive annual increments ranging from 1.5 to 3 per cent as part of interim arrangement until 2017

LRC proposals a bid to resolve row over the non-payment of bonuses in 2013 and 2014

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