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

Union chief says Ministers’ comments ‘exremely unhelpful’ ahead of talks

The president of the Public Service Executive Union - which represents mid-ranking civil servants - has ruled out providing extra work in return for pay restoration.

PSEU president says there will be no further concessions by staff seeking pay restoration

The NBRU has written to the Minister for Transport and said it will not negotiate the transfer of any of its members in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to private operators regardless of commitments or assurances provided in relation to terms and conditions. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Unions tell Minister further industrial unrest could take place in weeks ahead

Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash. The chairman of the Low Pay Commission has told an Oireachtas committee that the commission will make its first report to Mr Nash by July 15th. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Commission will advise Government on the appropriate rate for minimum wage

A new Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation survey has found that almost 6 per cent of nurses and midwives are bullied on a near daily basis. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

INMO survey says workplace bullying has increased by 13.4 per cent in four years

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has said any public sector pay deal must include reforms to work practices. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ministers in senior party say reversal of wage cuts must lead to increased productivity

IMO president Dr Ray Walley and  Minister for Health  Leo Varadkar at the IMO annual conference in  Kilkenny. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

National Association of General Practitioners rejects proposal while the IMO supports it

Dunnes Stores workers Audrey Quinn and Pauline Gray  picketing outside Dunnes Stores on Henry Street, Dublin on April 2nd. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

National meeting of shop stewards to be held to look at further protests

Bus services operated by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann set to be disrupted on Friday May 1st.

NBRU members to stage action over privatisation plans

Dr Ray Walley said universal health care was “a philosophy which believes that everybody in this country is entitled to adequate, affordable and high quality healthcare”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Irish Medical Organisation president says doctors favour ‘universal healthcare’

Minister for health Leo Varadkar TD at the said some services that are currently 24-hour may have to be curtailed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Varadkar says political leadership will be needed if EU rules are to be implemented

The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has signalled that the Government will seek additional productivity measures from staff in the public service in return for pay restoration in forthcoming talks with trade unions

Leo Varadkar says he would find it hard to accept pay deal at expense of services

The proposed new deal to provide free family doctor care to all children under six represents a first step on the road back to a sustainable and viable general practice system, the chairman of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP committee has said.

IMO says GP under six deal represents ‘good first step’

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: it would be a mistake to assume there will be a better deal on offer after the general election. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister to tell IMO conference no extra funding will be given to inefficient services

Drivers at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann have voted overwhlemingly in favour of for strike action. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Dispute over plan for 10 per cent of routes operated by companies to go out to tender

Free GP care for children: the introduction of the new arrangements will cost close to €90 million annually.

‘Major step’ in improving access, quality and affordability of care, says Varadkar

The Government hopes the free GP care scheme for children under six will come into operation in early July. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Government hopes free GP care scheme for under-6s will operate from early July

The chairman of the Irish Medical Organisation GP committee, Dr Ray Walley. The deal the organisation has agreed with the Government potentially represents the greatest transformation of primary care since the introduction of the medical card scheme nearly 50 years ago. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Deal between IMO and Government could be greatest change in primary care for 50 years

The Government has reached agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation on a recommended fee for the introduction of free GP care for children

Deal will provide for height and weight checks, plus cycle of care for asthma sufferers

If the take home pay of teachers is to be improved then probably the best way to achieve this is to reduce the public service pension levy, the general secretary of the ASTI Pat King has said. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

General secretary Pat King warns delegates to ‘beware of promises of income tax cuts’

Delegates at the ASTI conference in Killarney vote unanimously in favour on a motion calling for the rescinding of the “Croke Park hours”. Photograph: Don MacMonagle.

Conference told additional hours has led teachers to withdraw from after-school activities

MInister for Education Jan O Sullivan: Urged INTO delegates to be realistic on pay demands and  was not invited to address ASTI delegates. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

ASTI chief says union to seek restoration of common basic scale for all teachers

Jan O Sullivan, Minister for Education: said teachers should be ‘realistic’ about what can emerge from the forthcoming pay restoration talks with the Government. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Jan O’Sullivan comments are a re-statement of policy in advance of negotiations

Second-level teachers have already staged two days of strike action in protest at the Governent’s proposed changes to the junior cycle

Philip Irwin: Minister targeting English teachers in phase one of planned change

The Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise. Hiqa’s draft report reflected ‘a subjective and selective approach’, said HSE director general Tony O’Brien. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Draft report on Portlaoise hospital contains inaccuracies, says Tony O’Brien

Members of the Garda representative bodies GRA (Garda Representative Association) and Agsi (Association of Garda Sargents and Inspectors)  protesting in 2013 against proposed pay cuts in the new Croke Park agreement. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Cuts reversal likely to be sought during conference season over next six weeks

The general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Liam Doran with Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Picture: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Fund of extra €74m to be allocated to hospital overcrowding and trolley crisis

In Henry Street picketers were joined by former Dunnes strikers Mary Manning, Liz Deasy and Sandra Griffin, who in 1984 refused to handle South African fruit in protest at the apartheid regime. Photograph: The Irish Times

Trade Unions: Strike biggest private sector industrial relations dispute in two decades

Workers and union representatives on the picket line at Dunnes in  Henry Street, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Union warns dispute could escalate further if Dunnes refuses to ‘meaningfully engage’

The Government is also to provide €30 million to cover the cost of additional temporary contract beds until June and additional permanent community, convalescence and district hospital beds.

Additional funds to finance extra 1,600 nursing home places, Government says

Dunnes Stores workers, also  members of the Mandate trade union, pictured outside the Labour Court in October of last year. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

More than 5,000 employees with Mandate union to place pickets at about 100 outlets

Dublin Bus vehicles parked  in Conyngham Road garage in Dublin.  The trade union Siptu is to ballot Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann driver members for industrial action, in protest at National Transport Authority plans. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann union members face ballot over potential privatisation

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: “the economy could not sustain the immediate restoration of all those reductions.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Many union leaders supportive of seeking a flat-rate pay increase

Under  current privatisation plans, orbital routes in Dublin rather than city centre services, such as those between Blackrock and Rialto, and Chapelizod and the Square shopping centre in Tallaght, will be put out to tender. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Union to ballot members in Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Irish Rail for strike action

St James’s Hospital made  an application to the Department of Health in May 2014 that  chief executive Brian Fitzgerald be allowed to  retain a €30,000 allowance for lecturing on top of his salary. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Department of Health says St James’s Hospital may not receive extra money for lecturing

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar told the Dáil last week that the Government was committed to achieving compliance with the provisions of the directive. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: Significant reconfiguration of hospital service required

Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said: “Not only does Ireland now have a low-pay crisis – we also have a widening gap between wages at the bottom, which are falling, and those at the top which are rising.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Low Pay Commission expected to make recommendations on issue by summer

The HSE intends to use the premises as a community and step-down facility for patients who have completed treatment in acute hospitals.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

HSE to provide more details of its plans next week for the premises in Churchtown, south Dublin

Minster supports regulation system for healthcare assistants

Minister for health Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Collins

‘The process now ongoing is a process of checking the facts before it is published’

Tony O Brien, director general of the  HSE, said he didn’t dispute the serious problems at the hospital. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Watchdog report into hospital could trigger legal action, warns Health Service Executive

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he wants to see the Portlaoise hospital report published but added two organisations using public money should not be in “court situations”.

Taoiseach says agencies using public money should not be in ‘court situations’

HSE director general Tony O’Brien: described the women’s accounts as “unverified” and said the draft Hiqa report lacks accuracy and balance. Photograph: Alan Betson

Criticism of medical staff in care of 83 women but HSE challenges report

The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin: an  HSE audit  found  additional money from private sources was paid to three managers at the hospital, ranging from €30,000 to €39,000 a year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Hospital on Holles Street still making top-up payments to three senior executives

Former minister for health James Reilly commissioned the report over a year ago. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Hiqa critical of midlands hospital where five babies died in controversial circumstances

The Irish Medical Organisation has consistently maintained that rules for doctors’ working hours were being widely breached

Analysis: State could face fines if EU court finds Ireland in breach of working time directive

In  opinion published on Thursday  Luxembourg Court states workers are entitled to a minimum rest periods, and Ireland’s decision to exclude training time from the calculation of doctors’ working time “encroaches on that minimum rest period”.

Court of Justice says Ireland failed to meet obligations under Working Time Directive

The corporate element of Arthur Cox’s work for child and family agency Tusla is worth €800,000 a year. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Department of Finance and Nama paid company €12m between 2011 and 2014

Union members at one of the State’s largest windfarm service providers are to go on strike as part of a row over pay increases and cuts to allowances. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Enercon union members to hold 72-hour industrial action in row over allowances

Figures released by the HSE show that in January it spent €27.398 million on agency staff.

Health service has target to cut agency bill and overtime by €30m this year

Siptu said that a re-configuration of services at the Central Mental Hospital had led to an erosion of workers’ terms and conditions.

Labour Court recommends payments for loss of overtime after work practice changes

Mount Carmel Hospital in Dublin’s Churchtown was bought by the HSE to provide 65 extra short-stay beds.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Siptu warns Haddington Road deal breached and industrial action cannot be ruled out

An oversight group for the Haddington Road Agreement has intervened in a bid to avert planned industrial action by prison officers. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Haddington Road Agreement group intervenes to try and prevent work-to-rule

Leo Varadkar is  expected to bring the  new plans to the Cabinet subcommittee on health when it is agreed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister says some elements of emergency department proposals will save money

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said he will invite public service unions to talks after the Government receives exchequer figures for the first quarter.

Only very finite amount of money available, industrial relations conference told

 Minister Ged Nash said a recent survey by employers’ group Ibec had indicated that 57 per cent of companies planned to increase basic pay this year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Minister for Employment says he does not see a return to ‘old -style social partnership’

HSE director general Tony O’Brien: Told the Oireachtas committee on health last month that the Fair Deal scheme was the “Achilles heel” of the health services. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Reform of funding arrangements for Fair Deal nursing home scheme a key element

The  HSE says  the individual health identifer is not related to a person’s eligibility for care and it is not necessary for the patient to have or know the details of the number to access health or social care.

HSE says initiative will improve safety and reduce medical errors

Last week, Mandate said 67 per cent of its members at Dunnes Stores voted in favour of industrial action. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Thousands of Mandate union members to go on strike

David Begg who has retired as general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ictu general secretary retires after 14 years in position

Mandate has said 67%of its members at Dunnes Stores voted in favour of industrial action.

Dispute centres on pay, contracts and representation rights

The argument began on Monday when Dublin City Council announced that the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance call and dispatch function would be transferred into the HSE’s control later this year. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Union opposes to plans to transfer part of ambulance service in Dublin to the HSE

Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy: he is to call on the Government to further reduce income tax at the next budget and to invest heavily in infrastructure. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Employers group to use forum to call for more measures to stimulate economy

The Nursing and Midwifery Board said it had taken the decision to restore the €100 fee in the interest of   services and  the public to avoid a scenario where a large number of nurses and midwives who did not pay would not have been permitted to continue to work

Nursing unions had waged lengthy campaign against proposed rise from €100

 Eoin Ronayne, general secretary of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU). The CPSU said they are to seek a flat rate pay increase for lower-paid civil servants during forthcoming talks with the Government. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The Civil Public and Services Union wants flat rate increase for lower-paid workers

The HSE has estimated the cost of solving the country's overcrowding  crisis to be in the range of €100m. Photograph: Getty Images.

Money would open more hospital beds, pay for nursing home places and provide for home help

Former minister for finance Brian Lenihan warned proposals for compulsory redundancies ‘could provoke a serious reaction’. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Finance minister sought to cut public service numbers from about 318,000 to 305,000

Irish Pharmacy Union president Darragh O’Loughlin: said pharmacists expected to be treated no differently from GPs or any other group. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Calls follow move to begin unwinding emergency cuts to GP fees

The Government has agreed a process to reverse some of the cuts imposed on GPs. Photograph: Getty Images

Work needed before Coalition’s plan for free GP care for everyone can be implemented

Image: ThinkStock

Concerns raised about quality of medical procedures at hospital

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar speaking at the Fine Gael party conference in Castlebar last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar says members make ‘worship of the party line their religion’

The new memorandum of understanding says the substantive negotiations on the new GP contract will commence no later than March 31st, 2015.

Memorandum of understanding could pave way for free GP care

Ged Nash: he has declared that 2015 is the year of the pay rise across the economy

Employers rejects plans for raise as unions demand increase on €8.65 rate

President Michael D Higgins said the fears and aspirations of those trapped in chronic job insecurity must be addressed  during his Edward Phelan lecture at RCSI. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

President stresses need to help those in precarious employment during RCSI lecture

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking at the launch of the Low Pay Commission. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

80,000 will be removed from the scope of USC

Commissioner Niall Cody.Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Revenue sought assistance to bring some of those named in leaked bank files before Irish courts

The union Siptu will seek assurances on the future of 1,500 Aer Lingus jobs before deciding whether or not to back the bid. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Incoming Aer Lingus chief wants airline to be allowed manage sale of Ryanair 29.8% stake

IAG chief Willie Walsh has already conceded that some jobs could be lost in the Aer Lingus head office and in areas such as IT. Photograph: The Irish Times

Union officials caution members’ job security fears yet to be allayed

Isme chief Mark Fielding said the national minimum wage, which is currently set at €8.65, had failed in its stated task of addressing poverty.

Group urges reforms to allow people earn up to €20,000 without being taxed

Ibec claims rise could threaten business viability

In a letter to HSE director general Tony O’Brien, Dr O’Connell said his wife had got an academic position in Australia “and I wish to return to Australia to pursue other employment opportunities”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Dr Tony O’Connell resigned unexpectedly in January after nine months in €147,549 job

A dispute over cost-saving plans at Dublin Bus led to a three-day strike at the company in August 2013

Controversial 19-month cost-saving plan was scheduled to run until the summer

Aer Lingus’s board recommended the IAG’s proposed takeover bid  but political and trade union opposition has been significant. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Trade unions to meet incoming CEO Stephen Kavanagh this week

Plans introduced by former minister for health Dr  James Reilly to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products are to go ahead despite a legal threat from the tobacco industry. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Government ignores legal threat from tobacco firms over new Public Health Bill

 Bus Éireann says the “meeting was convened so that both the company, and these unions, could state their position on the matter”. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish times

National Bus and Rail Union says its members due 6 per cent rise under agreements

VHI said the most common anomalies identified were incorrect accommodation fees being invoiced by the hospital. Photographer: Dara MacDónaill

After inquiries into inappropriate billing, state insurer recovered in region of €20m

Public hospital waiting lists continue to grow, new HSE figures show

Dr Donal de Buitléir: chair of the new Low Pay Commission which will advise the Government on the rate of the national minimum wage. File photograph: Paddy Whelan

Donal de Buitléir heads new eight-member body advising on national minimum wage

Then minister for health James Reilly had directed his officials to seek a meeting with the Department of Finance as part of a process aimed at determining how the surplus would be spent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

James Reilly had sought talks with Finance officials on how money could be spent

Talks are expected to commence after Easter on rolling back the financial emergency legislation which underpinned the various reductions in terms and conditions. Photograph: The Irish Times

Document to 40,000 members indicates continuing campaign until cuts reversed

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “It probably makes sense to phase this in over a longer period of time. It is best not done in a hurry.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Leo Varadkar ‘absolutely confident we will have the over 70s by the summer’

The Minister said a number of measures had been put in place to tackle emergency department overcrowding since the start of the year.  Photograph: Getty Images

Situation in A&E ‘now considerably worse than this time last year or the year before’

Labour Party TD Joe Costello described the Thornton Hall development as a “white elephant”. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Planned prison development in Co Dublin to replace Mountjoy was later shelved

Fine Gael TD John Deasy: “The last thing we want to do is pass legislation that could put a doubt in the mind of US investors about coming to Ireland.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Introduction of new workers rights legislation is key issue for trade union movement

Among the areas where health services are under serious pressure are hospital emergency departments and maternity services, while there are also growing waiting lists for vital procedures and primary care. File photograph: Getty Images

HSE only received half additional money it sought to run health services in 2015

The demographic challenges facing the health service are well known: the over-65 population is growing by about 20,000 each year and the number of people over 80 is increasing by 4 per cent a year. The older the patient, the more complex and expensive their treatment tends to be. File photograph: Reuters

Opposition likely to seek answers on what clinical risks affected by lack of funding

Retailer Dunnes Stores has said it has a constitutional right not to engage directly with trade unions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Members of Mandate to ballot for industrial action over Labour Court recommendations

“Insurers should cover more procedures being done in primary rather than in hospitals, which is much more expensive”

Minister rejects warning by Irish Medical Organisation

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