The report argues that the widespread use of agency nurses in inpatient hospital units – who are often unfamiliar with patient issues and hospital processes – should be phased out. Photograph: Joerg Reimann/Getty Images

International study largely positive, but points to delays in cancer care

The Government recently reached a deal with the Irish Medical Organisation on the provision of free GP care for children under six. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Competition commission fears GP body encouraging boycott of proposed new scheme

Aer Lingus chief executive  Stephen Kavanagh at Dublin Airport. The trade union Impact has said that any assurances that the IAG aviation group has given in relation to the proposed sale of the State’s stake in Aer Lingus are worthless.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Union passes motion on proposed sale of State’s stake in airline to aviation group

The Government wants unions to re-affirm their commitment to industrial relations peace and the provisions for binding arbitration which were set out in the Croke Park and Haddington Road accords. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Draft paper backs binding arbitration in disputes and rules out strikes

Negotiations between trade unions and Government representatives on pay restoration for about 300,000 staff in the public service will begin in earnest this week.

Talks between unions and Government representatives resume on Tuesday afternoon

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said he disagreed with the original plan for the group to be part of the HSE structure. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Minister Leo Varadkar says it will now be independent body, not ‘sub-agency’ of HSE

The official maximum waiting times or targets range from 20 weeks to one year. ‘Now there are over 50,000 patients for whom these waiting times have been breached,’ wrote Leo  Varadkar

Details of growing lists given by Leo Varadkar to Brendan Howlin in confidential letter

A source confirmed that “strengthened measures” for industrial relations were being discussed. Photograph: Getty Images

Proposal geared to reduce days lost through disputes if future changes are implemented

Mmbers of SIPTU and NBRU on strike at Phibsboro station earlier this month.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

LRC plans build on Donohoe’s commitment that no employee will be forced to move to private operator

Kieran Mulvey, chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission attends talks in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Planned strike by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann called off

Sources said the scheduled pay restoration for about 300,000 staff in the public service had been raised with the troika at the last post-bailout visit, which ended on May 1st. Photograph: Getty Images

Commissioner Pierre Moscovici set to raise State’s ‘cost-competitiveness’ on Dublin trip

A two-day strike by members of the National Bus and Railworkers Union and Siptu is scheduled to go ahead on Friday and Saturday. A further three-day work stoppage is planned for the June bank holiday weekend.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Two-day work stoppage scheduled for Friday and Saturday

Chairman of the public service committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Shay Cody, said  there would not be any changes to peoples’ terms and conditions as a result of the new talks process. “Productivity is something public servants deliver, day in, day out,” he said. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government wants process finished by end of June

Mandate union assistant general secretary Gerry Light said “what use is a pay increase if management can reduce your hours by 2 or 3 in a week, leaving you with less income?”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Union says retailer must also introduce secure, banded hour contracts

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: his department will outline the “fiscal space” the Government has for a deal on public service pay. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government has earmarked between €250m and €300m for pay restoration

Labour Relations Commission  chief executive Kieran Mulvey said every effort would be made to resolve  issues between Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus and workers’ unions before the end of the week.  Further strikes at the bus companies are scheduled this  Friday and Saturday. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann staff scheduled to stop work on Friday and Saturday

Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly speaks at the union’s policy conference in Dublin today

Unite union criticises Government plans for collective bargaining reforms

Dublin bus sign on Dame Street announcing loss of bus services due to unions strike at Bus Depots at the beginning of the month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Labour Relations Committee has invited unions and management to talks at 3pm

The Minister said funding for 2015 would still be tight, but maintained the additional €635 million provided was realistic and would “reverse some of the harm of recent times”. Photograph: Getty Images

Health Service Executive requested €1.4bn, more than double the amount provided

HSE director general Tony O’Brien: organisation’s submission included a request for nearly €600 million for specific new projects and developments that it wanted to put in place.

HSE warned Department of Health further savings and efficiencies no longer possible

In a confidential report to the Department of Health on services that needed to be developed, the HSE said there was no system to support the co-ordination of information which the health service was receiving on the quality of patient care. Photograph: Bloomberg

Warning given to Coalition last year as part of proposal for €600m to develop services

Dublin Bus drivers pictured marching in The annual May Day Demonstration organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Cost of dispute to companies at €3m so far as latest shutdown set for Friday and Saturday

The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants general secretary Ciarán Rohan said forthcoming talks with Government should not be a matter of recruitment versus pay restoration. He said both must be addressed. Photograph: Getty Images

Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants says net pay now at levels of 13 years ago

 Eoin Ronayne, general secretary of the Civil Public & Services Union, strongy criticised the growing gulf in pay which emerged in recent years between the highest and the lowest paid in the public service. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Eoin Ronayne says demand for extra productivity in pay talks would be unacceptable

Sources said if the first €27,000 of income was exempted from the public-service pension levy, it would generate a boost in earnings for staff of about €800 per year. Photograph: Getty Images.

Staff would benefit by €800 if first €27,000 in pay was exempt from pension levy

Impact national secretary Louise O’Donnell said the issue over pay arrears dated back to 2004. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Personnel in west have voted for industrial action in campaign to have money paid

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “There should never be a conflict between what is good for staff and what is good for patients”. File photograph: Collins

Minister says it would be hard to back pay deal which came at expense of services

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: while he said he would not carry out his negotiations in public, sources disclosed that the allocation for public pay rises would fall between €250 million and €300 million in 2016. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government to spend €250m to €300m restoring pay to 300,000 public workers

Speaking at the opening of the conference of the health and welfare division of the Impact trade union in Ennis,  chairman Tony Martin said  public servants had delivered and responded to the demands placed upon services by a growing population

Social care staff in West to seek €7.5 million in unpaid premium payments

The HSE has said it is anticipated it would cost about €24.5 million to pay incremental increases due to staff this year.  Photograph: Getty Images

Executive says it is seeking to manage costs within its overall funding

Robert Watt, secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, said the Government would face demographic and budgetary pressures in the years ahead and that reform was always going to be necessary.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Robert Watt predicts tight budgets and need to ‘deliver more with the same or with less’

Government hopes to see the legislation passed  by the end of July based on  proposals    brought to Cabinet by Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Framework for registered employment agreements also set out in new legislation

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said the overspending could have significant implications on the funding that could be secured for next year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Costs for demand-led health schemes such as medical cards higher than expected

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Simon Harris. Mr Harris has signalled that the Government’s reform plans in relation to the public service would have to continue for some time.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Simon Harris suggests staff could earn more from cut in pay levies than from wage rise

Bus drivers on strike in the rain at the Phibsborough depot in Dublin on May 2nd.

Firms report footfall in Dublin and Cork cities is down by more than 20 per cent

Dublin Bus drivers  at the annual May Day demonstration, which coincided with the two-day strike. Siptu and the NBRU have strongly contested claims that their strike action is illegal. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

NBRU and Siptu contest Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus claim that strike is illegal

Members of the trade unions Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) on the picket line at the bus depot in Phibsborough. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Bus companies sue unions for losses from industrial action they describe as ‘illegal’

Demonstrators from Siptu, also including some anti-water charges protesters, make their way down O’Connell Street on the evening of May 1st, 2015. Photograph: Liam Ryan/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny says there are no winners from bus workers’ industrial action

A strike poster photographed at Broadstone depot during. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

What are the issues surrounding the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann stoppage?

NBRU and Siptu members protest outside the Dublin Bus depot in Summerhill this morning. A picket was placed on the depot at 4am where some 240 drivers work. Photograph: Éanna Ó Caollaí/The Irish Times

Hundreds of thousands of people affected by 48-hour strike action across country

Analysis: LRC talks process collapsed after two hours

Owen Reidy, of Siptu leaving the Labour Relations Committee. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Industrial action set to run for 48 hours over Friday and Saturday after talks break down

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has set out some new assurances for staff working at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann. Photograph: Collins

Donohoe says State bus staff would not have to move to private operators

Tánaiste Joan Burton with Minister Alex White as they launched the Labour Party Marriage Equality Campaign in Dublin at the weekend. Photograph: Stephen Collins.

Tánaiste would not comment on reports that 2-3 per cent increases were planned

Mandate  members at more than 100 Dunnes Stores outlets staged a one-day stoppage on Holy Thursday, April 2nd last.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Mandate shop stewards decide to defer further strike action at retailer for the moment

The Technical, Engineering & Electrical Union (TEEU) is  planning a one-day national strike by its members in June in a bid to have removed a levy currently in place on apprentices. File photograph: iStockphoto

TEEU seeks 5% pay hike for electricians, plumbers, fitters and craft workers

Cost of meters could hit €1,000 in some cases

Overnight rate paid to staff is to rise from €108.99 to €125.

Government raising subsistence allowances but qualifying criteria will be tougher

Siptu president Jack O’Connor said public spending should be prioritised over tax cuts on a ratio of a minimum of 2:1 as resources become available in a growing economy. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Jack O’Connor says taxation measures must be aimed at low and middle income earners

Unions representing staff at the State-owned electricity utility had sought a three-year 3.5 per cent per annum pay increase. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Internal joint council reported to have agreed rise after pay freeze ended last year

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has ruled out reversing cuts to public sector pay in “one big bang”. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Minister to seek Cabinet approval to enter into public pay talks with unions

A file image of the St Vincent’s public hospital, in  Dublin. Photograph: The Irish Times.

HSE says a special administration for hospital may now have to be considered

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Siptu to rule out new productivity in return for pay restoration

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has proposed that the terms and conditions of Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann staff who had to transfer to private operators under proposed reforms should be guaranteed.

Authority’s chief executive calls on unions at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to call off strikes

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are planning strikes next month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Bus strikes will cause grave difficulties for passengers, says Paschal Donohoe

On average Dublin Bus carries 410,000 passengers on a Friday and approximately 253,000 on a Saturday

All Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services will likely come to a halt on seven days in May

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann drivers who are members of Siptu and the NBRU are planning to strike over the May and June bank holidays. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Siptu and NBRU members to hold stoppages over opposition to potential privatisation

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’

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