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

Lansdowne House in Ballsbridge, Dublin, where a new public sector pay deal was agreed. File Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Public servants to receive €2,000 in three phases under Lansdowne Road agreement

Iarnród Éireann says it is  losing more than €1 million per month and is not in a financial position to agree to past productivity pay claims.

Train drivers to ballot for industrial action in dispute over payment for past productivity

Eoin Ronayne, general secretary of the  CPSU said the Lansdowne Road agreement was a ‘start on the road to the full restoration of all pay and conditions’.    Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Members of Unite union reject Lansdowne Road accord as terms are ‘insufficient’

Impact is seeking parity for directly  employed secretaries and caretakers  with the terms and conditions of similar personnel employed by the Department of Education.

Impact union seeking standardised pay and conditions for secretaries and caretakers

Vets have  rejected the proposed Lansdowne Road agreement. The deal was opposed by 92 per cent of members of the Veterinary Officers Association. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Lansdowne Road deal opposed by 92% of members of Veterinary Officers Association

Iarnród Éireann says it still losing €1m per month

The Irish Medical Organisation has estimated 250 or more consultants’ posts in hospitals remain vacant despite a new pay structure being agreed earlier this year aimed at making the positions more attractive.  Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Ireland struggles to compete in recruiting senior health personnel due to pay rates

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly: Ended up, on occasion, being publicly blamed for decisions forced on him by others in the Cabinet. Photograph: The Irish Times

Exit from post in 2014 when health service reeling from budget cuts and staffing levels

The HSE confirmed at the weekend that it was examining a new GP initiative. Photograph: Getty Images

Initiative aimed at cost-efficient prescribing that could potentially save €15m on drugs bill

Joe Mooney, chief executive of Muscular Dystrophy Ireland: “We need the Government to take this issue seriously.” Photograph: Moya Nolan

Support group also calls for improved access to clinical trials for sufferers

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses. Photograph: The Irish Times

Collision between motorbike and van

James Reilly, former minister for health: he told the Oireachtas committee meeting it was ‘not Government policy’ to remodel Portlaoise as a model two hospital. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Senior aide referring to way HSE dealt with Hiqa report into hospital in Portlaoise

The Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, Co Laois. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Government and health body planned to end full-scale emergency services at the hospital

Richard Bruton: spokesman said  ensuring an adequate supply of skilled workers was a key objective of the Government. Photograph: Frank Miller

Some occupations deemed eligible but others have been removed from the list

Nurses claim the scale of overcrowding in hospital emergency departments last month was 40 per cent higher than in August of last year. Image: Thinkstock.

Nurses claim 6,518 patients seeking admission to hospitals left on trolleys last month

HSE  director general Tony O’Brien said that about €1.4 billion in additional funding would be required to maintain the existing levels of service

Director general Tony O’Brien warns against health service ‘standing still’

The Government has consistently refused to publish the details of these “side deals”. Photograph: Getty Images

Pay proposals are part of an agreed industrial relations process across public service

An Intercity train. File photograph: Irish Rail/Iarnród Éireann

EU Commission wants changes that would open up sector to competitors

Mr Justice George Birmingham: “That recently appointed judges are being treated less favourably than other entrants to the public service is invidious.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Newly appointed judges are the subject of ‘invidious discrimination’, Howlin told

  Ged  Nash: measures bring Irish law into line with recent rulings of the EU Court of Justice. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Government initiative to implement EU directive comes into force from Saturday

Leo Varadkar held ‘constructive meeting’ with hospitals on Friday evening

A file image showing Iarnród Éireann taking delivery of a new intercity railcar carriage in 2011. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Siptu says proposal is a ‘clear and naked attack’ on Ireland’s railway workers

Medical scientists supported the proposals by a margin of 82 per cent to 18 per cent. File photograph: Getty Images

Agreement on public service pay now certain of being ratified by Ictu in autumn

The HSE said it has been unable to deliver cost savings ‘because our focus has been on opening/maintaining additional bed and other capacity’.

Service unable to cut costs ‘because our focus has been on opening additional bed capacity’

Liam Casey FM Consulting was paid €3,444 for a report on facilities management services in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick in November 2012. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Extended contract breached €207,000 threshold for EU tendering

Cork University Hospital: The HSE internal audit also raises queries regarding the payment of allowances on top of salary to a number of senior nurses in Cork and Kerry. Photograph:  Patrick Hogan/Provision

Doctor was working for another part of HSE in addition to own hospital

The union, which represents about 1,000 staff in the health service, local authorities, education and semi-State sectors, said its members backed the deal by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.

TEEU represents about 1,000 staff in public service

The study commissioned by the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation found a quarter of nurses and midwives said they had turned up for work at least once while feeling sick in the last year.

More than 40 per cent believe their health is not important to employers

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: said current system for dealing with brain injury cases is ‘very adversarial’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish society is ‘willing to bear’ the cost of brain injury cases, says Minster for Health

Last year, the HSE was forced to spend a record €336 million on agency staff and overtime to fill vacancies.

Need to hire driven by low pay, geography and specific skill shortages, says memo

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for Health wants trusts to be permitted to behave like semi-State companies

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Body recommends public competition in appointment of senior managers

 Siptu president Jack O Connor. The union’s public service members have voted to support the new Lansdowne Road pay agreement. Photograph: The Irish Times

Most public service employees now likely to receive wage rise of €2,000 in three phases

HSE national director for acute hospitals Liam Woods. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Health committee told collusion between suppliers and purchasers ‘difficult’ to detect

The HSE says a relocation package is available for nurses and midwives who would like to come and work in the Irish health service

Up to 500 nurses and midwives sought in new recruitment initiative

Tánaiste Joan Burton: said that any PRSI anomalies arising from the recommendations in the Low Pay Commission report would be addressed in the forthcoming budget. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Employers’ social insurance rates should be increased to fund social wage, says union

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described some of the examples of the  anomalies as “quite stark”.

Commission highlights anomalies which could see earnings fall on foot of rises

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Tanaiste Joan Burton and Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs at the launch of the Low Pay Commission earlier this year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Proposed increase does not address eight-year stagnation of minimum wage, says report

Fair Deal review: Fianna Fáil warned that Government pledges on the scheme should be treated with scepticism. Photograph: Getty Images

Age action welcomes pledge not to increase contributions from nursing home residents

 Minister for  Social Care Kathleen Lynch said Government would seek to generate efficiencies from administrative reforms in the Fair Deal nursing homes scheme. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Long-term sustainability of Fair Deal scheme remains to be seen, given demographics

Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Brendan Howlin,  said it would be up to the next government to decide on a new mechanism for objectively determining public service pay. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Howlin says he will read Fine Gael think tank proposals on determining public service pay

Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch said the Government was not contemplating any fundamental change to eligibility for the Fair Deal nursing home support scheme. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Minister of State says review shows nursing home support scheme to be ‘fair and transparent’

Q&A by Martin Wall as report on nursing home scheme published

Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Low Pay Commission expected to call for an extra 50 cent an hour in report for Minister

Allegations set out in an  RTÉ Investigations Unit programme regarding  the publicly funded St Vincent’s University Hospital are understood not to have  been included in an  original letter from a whistleblower sent to  Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.  File photograph: Dave Meehan

Whistleblower concerns over some hospitals first raised with Varadkar last September

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the national economic dialogue conference at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Workers’ groups lobby for increased funds for services at national economic dialogue

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin speaking at the Government’s  national economic dialogue in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Sara Freund

Model, which would allow schools determine spending, should be piloted, Minister says

Taoiseach Enda Kenny criticised social partnership as practised by previous administrations. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government at pains to point out exercise aimed at listening, not set of negotiations

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton speaking before the National Economic Dialogue at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Simon Harris says level at which 7% USC kicks in is ‘penal’ and effects productivity

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the National Economic Dialogue conference at Dublin Castle on Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Employers group warns against removing too many people from the tax base

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the national economic dialogue conference at Dublin Castleon Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says Budget will ensure work pays more than welfare

The Coalition’s scope for meeting demands within the current spending parameters appears limited. Photograph: Getty Images

Talks objective is not to yield an overall agreement with which everyone will concur

Social justice campaigners are expected to argue against a low-tax economic model. Photograph: Getty Images

Social justice groups argue for greater spend on social infrastructure in new talks process

The paper, drawn up by the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, warns that under a “no policy change” scenario expenditure on the two State pension schemes could reach €7.5billion by 2026.

Demographic pressures will hit cost of two State pension schemes in years ahead

The report says that seasonally adjusted employment peaked in the first quarter of 2008 at 2.16 million.

Attracting back emmigrants and urging greater participation by women urged

The “living wage” calls for the introduction of an hourly rate of €11.45. Photograph: Getty Images

Ibec says proposal would hurt employment and not address real challenges of poverty

Le Grand Salon reception room at the Irish Embassy in Paris. Photograph: Alan Betson

New figures show State’s diplomatic properties abroad are valued at almost €90 million

The executive committee of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (Ifut) will meet to decide on a recommendation for members on the proposed new Lansdowne Road pay deal at the end of  July.  File photograph: Getty Images

Ifut unhappy at shelving of planned €1,000 pay hike set for 2017 in Lansdowne Road deal

Clerys department store, O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Conference condemns ‘shameful and callous treatment’ of department store’s workers

Tánaiste Joan Burton supports the living wage initiative which calls for a minimum wage rate of €11,45 per hour.

Tanáiste criticises ‘predatory capitalism’ involved in Clerys department store closure

Trade union representatives should stop navel gazing and internal squabbling and concentrate on assisting workers to escape the curse of inequality, the general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Patricia King (above) has said

Ictu chief urges unions to make use of new industrial relations legislation

File photograph of Tom Geraghty from The Public Service Executive Union at the Department of Finance. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Ictu conference hears growth could reach 3 to 4 per cent on average

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