Pharmaceutical spend accounts for 15 per cent of overall expenditure in the public healthcare system. Photograph: iStock

Department of Public Expenditure paper says €2bn being spent on drugs each year

Employers have argued that increases being sought by Unite would represent rises of about 80 per cent over the next year or so. Photograph: iStock

Construction Industry Federation criticises action that targets particular companies

Catherine Day: Heading a new review of the role of voluntary hospitals in the publicly funded health service. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Harris wants three-person panel to report within a year

The Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association said there are now over 589,000 people on waiting lists in Ireland’s public hospitals

Patients waiting up to nine years for appointment at Waterford hospital, report says

Ictu recommended Unite should terminate the membership of the crane operators. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Siptu had complained that Unite had taken about 50 crane operators into its union

VHI Healthcare had the largest overall share of the market last year at 52%. Photograph: iStock

Average premium rose marginally last year by 0.3 per cent to €1,177 per person

Siptu complained to the Ictu last April that Unite had taken into its membership a number of crane operators who traditionally had come within its sphere of influence. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ictu to adjudicate on dispute between Siptu and Unite over alleged poaching of members

Leo Varadkar: Modest minimum wage increases are sustainable.

Employer representatives on Low Pay Commission disagree with proposals

Impact deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said he believed the process set out on the proposed agreement could result in the removal of two incremental points from most pay scales.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Union says talks to address inequities in pay for new entrants should begin immediately

The State-owned transport company says it wants to rebuild its commercial intercity Expressway brand and network of services with faster times and more competitive fares

Bus Éireann also wants National Transport Authority to focus more on services outside Dublin

  Simon Harris:  he is to bring proposals to Cabinet this week for a review into the future role  of voluntary hospitals in our  health service

For decades State has outsourced much of its healthcare services to the private sector

Voluntary hospitals and agencies have service level agreements with the HSE governing services to be provided in return for exchequer funding. Photograph: Getty Images

Harris seeking approval for expert group to look into status of voluntary organisations

Cranes at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin: Unions representing 50,000 construction workers  sought increases of 10 per cent over the old registered employment agreement rates under the new agreements. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Labour Court report on rates under first new sectoral employment order sent to Minister

A planned strike by crane operators over pay which could have led to widespread disruption on construction sites from Friday has been deferred.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Unite says plan to place pickets on sites operated by CIF members suspended for a week

In the wake of the rejection of the proposed new public service agreement by Irish National Teachers’ Organisation members, one of the first things the union will have to decide is whether it will accept any majority decision of the public service trade union movement overall to accept the agreement. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Analysis: INTO must decide whether to accept majority decision of union movement

Minister for Education  Richard Bruton: various measures taken by the Government meant it had gone about 75 per cent of the way towards restoring pay equality for teachers appointed since 2011. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Pay equality between established and new teachers emerges as key issue for profession

Holles Street: Who should call the shots in a publicly-funded voluntary hospital?

Analysis: Such arguments an inevitable consequence of hybrid healthcare model

Holles Street Hospital. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Hospital says it is independent entity and not owned by the HSE

The National Maternity Hospital. Auditors found there was an undocumented arrangement under which the hospital provided support to a semi-private clinic on its campus. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Audit finds ‘significant’ issues of governance and lack of transparency at hospital

The National Maternity Hospital: report says the NMH “blurred boundaries” between the publicly-funded facility and a semi-private clinic on its site pose a risk of conflicts of interest. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Audit says four managers received payments for work relating to semi-private clinic

Cranes on the Dublin skyline. Industrial action by crane operators is expected to spread.

Unite criticises CIF boss Tom Parlon over ‘Mickey Mouse’ cranes comments

The proposed drink-driving law seeks to impose a mandatory three-month driving ban on anyone found to have 51-80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in their system. File photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Alcohol industry lobbying hard against Minister’s plan to impose mandatory driving ban on offenders

Shane Ross held talks on Monday with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), Siptu, the National Bus and Rail Union, Unite , the TSSA and the TEEU. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shane Ross says he held ‘fruitful, frank and friendly’ talks with transport trade unions

The Low Pay Commission has recommended increasing the national minimum wage per hour  by 30 cent

More than 120,000 workers would benefit from Low Pay Commission recommendation

Crane drivers on picket recently on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Construction Industry Federation says Unite seeking ‘unrealistic’ pay rises of 80%

Delegates attending the ICTU Biannual Conference 2017 in Belfast heard compulsory reporting of organisations’ gender pay gaps would “shine a light on inequity”. Photograph:   Photoline

Trade unions urge Government to introduce legislation to force organisations to do so

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation general secretary-designate Phil Ní Sheaghdha attributed the scale of assaults to poor workforce planning by health service management and the absence of staff training. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘Dysfunctional’ HSE spends €77m on agency staff in first 18 weeks of 2017

Ictu urged governments in Ireland the UK to make a public declaration that no existing rights or protections would be lost or eroded as a result of Brexit. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Illustration

Actors’ union warns people working for major TV productions such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Vikings’ may be impacted

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to say that the aim of the new cancer care strategy is to ensure cancer survival rates in the State will be among the best in Europe. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Simon Harris’s plan will warn that the number of cases of the disease will double in 20 years

Patricia King of Ictu: urged the Government to scrap the existing reduced VAT rate for the hotel and food services sector. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ictu will also resist restrictions on right to strike mooted by Taoiseach, conference told

President Michael D Higgins in Aras an Uachtarain.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Higgins says day of arguing for a minimal State is over

As part of a side-deal negotiated in tandem with the recent public service agreement, the Government agreed to provide  rent allowance increases for prison officers and firefighters. File photograph: Getty Images

Side deal will take effect if public service agreement ratified through union ballots

Ictu general secretary Patricia King:   “The housing crisis in the Republic represents a policy failure of major proportions and provides ample proof of how the needs of working people have been neglected.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Membership in congress-affiliated unions fell by 1% in last year

File photo of ASTI members taking part in a protest in November 2016. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Activists say union negotiators should be sent back to secure more for workers

DAA bus at Dublin Airport: A spokesman for the airport authority declined to comment on the pay claim submitted by Siptu. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Trade union argues increases should not be linked to additional productivity

Siptu represents more than 70,000 staff in the public service who will vote on the new pay proposals. Photograph: Eric Luke

Irish Medical Organisation defers decision on new accord

Raco  expressed unhappiness that its members were disadvantaged by being excluded from side deals reached between the Government and other public service groups.

Raco says officers recruited after 2013 to lose out on ‘supplementary’ pension benefit

The executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation has deferred until the end of a month a final decision on whether to recommend the proposed pay accord to members in a forthcoming ballot. File photograph: Getty Images

Thousands of civil servants to get additional leave, while some allowances to be restored

 Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Cabinet formally approves terms of draft accord

ASTI president Ed Byrne has said the union will now ‘move inside the tent’ of the Lansdowne Road pay deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Calls for leadership figures to resign after members vote to suspend industrial action

 ASTI  president Ed Byrne addresses the ASTI special convention at Citywest Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Secondary teachers’ union approves the move at a special convention in Dublin

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation joins the  Teachers’ Union of Ireland in recommending rejection of the pay deal

INTO opposes public sector deal over ‘inadequate’ provisions for lower-paid teachers

About 23,000 State employees  will benefit least from the proposed new agreement

GRA says requirement for gardaí to pay more for pensions ‘deeply disappointing’

Two-tier pay structure to be assessed overa 12-month period in 2018

Unions have reacted cautiously to the proposed pay deal with teachers organistions saying they are disappointed.

ASTI head voices extreme disappointment over provisions for new entrants

The Government will hope the public pay question is settled as it turns its focus to Brexit.

Average-earning staff appointed before 2013 to get increases of about €4,000 over 3 years

Unions and the Government have agreed a pay deal that will run for three years.  Gardai, military personnel and prison officers, who have faster accruing pensions, will benefit least from the proposed new agreement. Photograph: The Irish Times

Civil and public service staff hired since 2013 are in line for 7% to 10% rises over the period

Iarnród Éireann is projecting a further €6 million deficit this year which would leave it about €2 million ahead of insolvency

Rail company says pay rises unaffordable as it is on verge of insolvency

Kevin Callinan and Peter Nolan (right) of Impact trade union    attending the  public service pay talks in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Measures on increasing the level of Saturday working have been diluted

It has forecast that the fiscal space for next year will be about €200m. File photograph: Getty Images

Government negotiators indicate time required to ‘crunch numbers’, say sources

Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation general secretary Liam Doran: “The Government is going to have to use a wider lens and more imagination.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government insisting on greater pension contributions from most in public service

Train passengers could face widespread travel chaos on the country’s railways in the summer and autumn, one of the country’s main transport unions has warned.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

National Bus and Rail Union could be ‘forced into’ summer and autumn disruption as it seeks pay rises

Mid-ranking gardaí say they would ‘absolutely resist’ any move make them pay more for their faster accruing pensions. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Public service pay talks continue in Dublin on whether a new public service accord will be agreed

Iarnród Éireann: the State-owned rail operator has said it will lose about €6m this year, bringing its accumulated deficit to €159.2m

Train operator says financial position much more severe than that in Bus Éireann

Groups such as gardaí, prison officers and fire fighters are opposing any suggestion they should have to pay more in pension contributions. Photograph: iStock

Prospects for reaching new accord likely to become clear on Tuesday or Wednesday

Tom  Geraghty of the Public Service Executive Union suggested the odds on a deal being reached were lengthening.  Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Major disagreements have arisen on outsourcing and Saturday working

An audit said the St John of God organisation had been paying salary top-ups to senior mangers as far back as 1986 at least.

Vatican linked to €1.8m confidential payouts to senior charity chiefs

Saint John of God group chief executive John Pepper. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Order’s organisational culture failed to meet required standards, audit says

The chief union negotiator in the public sector pay talks Shay Cody. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Some unions unhappy at failure of public service managers to get down to specifics

The Government’s proposal to make the 25,000 public service staff who have faster-accruing pensions pay more for their benefits has been strongly criticised by a number of trade unions. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Officials have yet to outline specific plans after six days of talks on a new agreement

Government representatives held talks with public service unions and representative bodies on the issue of pay on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Siptu argues pay restoration for State employee cannot be linked extra productivity requests

Paschal Donohoe had consistently maintained that the Government valued the stability and certainty that accompanied public service agreements, according to Impact. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Impact says ‘troubling straws in the wind’ have emerged in talks with Government

An additional 290 intensive care unit beds are needed, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association has said.

Doctors call for investment to bring infrastructure up to adequate standards

Siptu president Jack O’Connor said his union would not recommend any agreement that diluted the existing protections against outsourcing. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Proposals on outsourcing could derail deal, and big-ticket items haven’t even come up yet

Government put forward its proposals  at the fifth day of talks with trade unions  on a new public service pay deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

State wants to add provision for potential introduction of Saturday work to agreement

 Labour voted at its last conference to cease affiliations with other organisations which meant an end to the traditional source of funding from Siptu. Photograph: Mary Browne

Special conference agrees to increase contributions from 63c per year to €1.04

Siptu president Jack O’Connor said the outsourcing restrictions in the Lansdowne Road Agreement   limited ‘the degree to which the race-to-the-bottom can be introduced in publicly-funded work’ . File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Representatives to reject any attempt to force gardaí to pay higher pension contributions

Public sector pay talks entered their third day on Wednesday at the Workplace Relations Commission. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government defends additional hours requirement on third day of pay talks

Talks on a new public pay deal are taking place at  the Workplace Relations Commission in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Government to set out pension reform plans during further discussions on Wednesday

 Unite  described Leo Varadkar’s proposals to curtail the right to strike in essential services as ‘anti-worker and anti-democratic’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Union criticises Varadkar’s proposals as ‘anti-worker and anti-democratic’

Public service management  wants to review premium payments given to those who currently work on Saturdays

Government to seek increased productivity and work-practice changes in new pay deal

The Garda Representative Association said it would not support a separation from general public service pension arrangements. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

As part of reforms clock-in would be based on fingerprinting and iris scans

Leo Varadkar launching his policy manifesto in Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Leadership candidate threatens to overturn rival Simon Coveney’s ‘help to buy’ plan

Strike action at Bus Éireann brought services  to a standstill for three weeks in March and April.

Proposals include 10% pay cuts to earnings over €60k and the closure of Dundalk garage

Nurses were outraged last week at reports that cited a senior public service union figure forecasting the outcome of the talks. Photograph: Frank Miller

Concerns that process – due to start today – could be delayed by FG leadership situation

VHI subscribers planning to see consultants in public hospitals should check the doctor they intend to visit is on a specialist register. Photograph:  Alan Betson

HSE indicates hospitals could pursue patients if bill not settled by insurance firm

Nurses have warned that industrial stability could be jeopardised if the Government does not address their calls for measures to tackle staff recruitment and retention problems in the health service. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Donohoe says Government will not agree to separate pay deal for 50,000 health staff

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe says the new deal ‘has to be affordable and it has to be fair to everyone’. Photograph: Eric Luke

Unions to meet Workplace Relations Commission ahead of opening of talks

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe tabled proposals for the public-service pay talks at Cabinet  on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: Demands could pose problems for Government and for unions in other sectors

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has formally invited trade unions and representative bodies to talks on a new public service pay deal. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Negotiations on extending the Lansdowne Road Agreement to get under way next week

The three unions said there were currently 400 hospital consultant posts vacant and there were still 3,200 fewer nurses and midwives in place than there were in 2008.  Photograph: iStock

Doctors, nurses and midwives accuse Government of ‘head in the sand’ approach on recruitment

Minister for Health Simon Harris is expected to come under pressure to provide full details about the  appointing of doctors who do not have essential specialist training.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Waterford, Letterkenny, Naas and Portiuncula facing challenges to enlist specialists

The HSE acknowledged last weekend that there were occasions in emergency situations when doctors not on the Medical Council’s specialist register were appointed to fill temporary consultant positions. Photograph: Getty Images

Hosptial consultants association: Appointments to fill posts compromising patient care

A garda demands pay restoration during a protest  outside Government Buildings, Dublin. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Garda Representative Association says their faster rate of accrual is ‘danger money’

Management at Bus Éireann has argued that the company is facing insolvency in the absence of remedial action.

Recommendations were issued following a 21-day strike over cost-cutting

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said his union would “remain steadfast” in the forthcoming pay negotiations. Photograph: Frank Miller

Impact national secretary’s comments interpreted as response to nurses’ 12% claim

Garda recruits  parade at the Garda College in Templemore. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Unions’ priorities in forthcoming talks could disappoint some State employees

 Upcoming pay talks could reduce some of the gains by gardaí under their   controversial €50m   deal last November

Senior union figures sceptical at prospects of special additional rises for nurses

An Impact members protest at the Dlr Lexicon library in Dún Laoghaire last September against the decision to open the library on Sundays without staff. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

FOI request reveals six incidents of children being left unsupervised during pilot project

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe speaks about the Public Service Pay Commission report, which was published on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government wants to trade salary increases for extra contributions from middle-income staff

The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants Annual Delegate Conference took place in Dublin earlier in May. Photograph: John Mc Elroy

What are the essential arguments made in the study of public service remuneration?

The public service pension levy currently generates about €600m per year, and it is understood the Government is keen to hold on to some of this money

Pensions, pay and productivity expected to be flashpoints

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe: the Public Service Pay Commission suggests public service staff appointed before 2013 and who are covered by standard or “legacy” pension schemes, as well as those groups who can accrue retirement benefits at a faster rate, should contribute more. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Public Service Pay Commission urges pay rises be linked to productivity and reform

The Public Services Committee said public servants currently paid more than 20 per cent of their earnings above €28,750 towards their pension. Photograph:  iStockphoto

INMO says Government must address nursing recruitment problems

The Public Service Pay Commission report  says tens of thousands of State employees should contribute more towards their pension arrangements. File photograph: iStockPhoto

ICTU Public Services Committee calls for early talks on recovery of public service pay

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has  published the pay commission report.

Commission says pay for public service staff at lower levels appears higher than those in private sector

The Irish Federation of University Teachers’ conference heard staff numbers fell 4,500 in universities between 2008 and 2013, and  student numbers surged more than 31,000 over the same period. Photograph: Getty Images

Conference told of major cuts to university teacher staffing as student numbers surge

Ciaran Rohan, general secretary of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, and Oonagh Buckley of the Workplace Relations Commission. Photograph: Sinéad McGovern

Workplace Relations Commission chief warns pay talks will be ‘incredibly complex’

Pay restoration: John Glennon, chairman, and Ciaran Rohan, general secretary of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants. Photograph:  John Mc Elroy

Higher public service staff call for faster pay restoration

The ASTI union withdrew a planned ballot by members. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Internal dispute escalates as teachers’ union withdraws ballot over separate dispute with Department

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