Doctors say proposals to reduce working hours are insufficient

Planned strike remains suspended to allow for more talks with HSE

Non-consultant hospital doctors have said that proposals on reducing their working hours are insufficient.

Non-consultant hospital doctors have said that proposals on reducing their working hours are insufficient.

Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 19:41

Non-consultant hospital doctors have said that proposals on reducing their working hours are insufficient.

They were put forward by health service management in a bid to aimed at averted a planned strike.

However the non- consultant hospital doctor committee of the Irish Medical Organisation backed the decision by the leadership of the union at the weekend to suspend to suspend the strike action.

There is no date set for the commencement of any industrial action.

The committee is seeking clarification from the HSE on the proposals it put forward on implementing European rules on working hours as well as on sanctions which would apply in cases of these being breached by hospitals.

Non-consultant hospital doctors had been scheduled to take strike action on Wednesday as part of their campaign against excessive working hours.

However the action was deferred for a week last Friday after the HSE tables proposed reforms.

The IMO said that the committee had endorsed the suspension of strike action so as to allow time to give detailed consideration to the proposals. Originally it had been planned for the deferral of the industrial action to run out in the middle of next week with the strike commencing on Wednesday week. However there is now no date in place for the action to commence.

The HSE proposals included a commitment that no non- consultant doctor would have to work a shift of longer than 24 hours from next January.

The HSE also pledged that it would be fully compliant with the European Working Time Directive which stipulates a maximum 48-hour week by the end of next year.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform also signalled that it would provide additional resources if they were needed to allow for the reduced hours to be put in place.

However following a meeting on Monday the non-consultant doctor committee of the IMO said it “did not consider the proposals, as they stand, sufficient to allow them to proceed to a ballot of members and has now reverted to the HSE seeking clarification and greater detail in respect of the European Working Time Directive implementation plans including verification processes and sanctions for non compliance.”

“At this time, the committee has declined to put the proposals to a ballot of members.

The committee is to meet again on Thursday 26th September “to consider responses from the HSE and in the meantime industrial action remains suspended”.