Minister for Defence Simon Coveney. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Draft White Paper on defence policy outlines main security threats over the next 10 years

Universal health insurance  would abolish Ireland’s existing two-tier system with a single tier system by effectively making everyone a private patient Photograph: Andrew Wong/Reuters

Report casts doubt on viability of Government health plan as costs far higher than thought

The ASTI and TUI are recommending rejection of the  proposed new public service pay deal, while the  INTO has urged members to support it. File photograph: Stephen Shepherd/The Image Bank/Getty Images

TUI urges members to reject pay deal but INTO urges support for proposals in ballot

Irish Congress of Trade Unions general secretary Patricia King. Ictu aims to set out the response of political parties to its charter at its upcoming conference in Ennis. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Document calls for living-wage rate of €11.45 per hour and end to zero-hour contracts

The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS) described the proposed new Lansdowne Road agreement as “deeply disappointing”.

AHCPS warns of possible industrial action over proposed Lansdowne Road agreement

Philip Smith  claimed he was made the ‘fall guy’ by RSA when certain issues emerged at the Irish business in October 2013. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Smith brought constructive dismissal case against insurer RSA over 2013 resignation

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said the EU directive is not a “panacea” and that patients will have to pay upfront, and find someone abroad to accept their doctor’s referral. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Leo Varadkar says the directive will help to boost case for increasing Irish health budget

Clerys staff and supporters during a protest outside Clerys on O’Connell Street, Dublin last week. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Minster says no law can stop capitalism ‘operating in the way it does’

Minster for Health Leo Varadkar has said it would be inappropriate to meet with GPs from south Tipperary where opposition is strongest to the Government’s plans. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin.

Minister says inappropriate to meet with Tipperary GPs who are opposed to plan

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said “steady progress on metrics like delayed discharges and in-patient admissions” showed that the health service plans  put in place at the start of the year are beginning to take effect. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw.

Large amount of overrun relates to acute hospitals and social care services

Mick Harris and Robbie O’Connor of the  Best of Irish Design clothing firm load stock from the now-closed Clerys department store into  a van on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Minister says he is deeply concerned at treatment of workers as store liquidated

Leo Varadkar: ‘One of best things about general practice in Ireland is that they are independent, autonomous practitioners with different sources of funding.’ Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Extension of free GP care and improved drug subsidy scheme for Coalition second term

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke at the demonstration in support of Clerys workers outside the store in O’Connell Street, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

130 workers entitled to two weeks’ payment for every year of service, plus bonus week

Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash is to prepare a report on the closure of Clerys for the Government amid growing anger at the treatment of workers who were employed there. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny says company law review group might look at sale of retailer

Danny McCoy, head of employers’ group Ibec, says the tradition of a single job with a single employer has become the exception. Photograph: Gary O’Neill

Move is away from lifetime careers with collectively bargained or universal terms

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar is looking at other models of UHI such as single payer insurance, as well as a model funded fully through taxation using social insurance. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister asks researchers to look at model offering different degrees of cover for patients

Brendan Howlin said new €90 initiative will not compromise economic recovery

IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick: “We believe it is time for an increase in remuneration after a pay freeze lasting over six years – especially since this has been a period of major restructuring within AIB involving a substantial reorganisation of the business and significant job losses.” Photograph: Tommy Clancy

Finance union IBOA to look for deal in line with recent agreement with Bank of Ireland

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has urged doctors not to pay a proposed 13 per cent increase in the annual retention fee levied by the Medical Council. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Organisation says there is no justification for proposed increase in annual retention levy

The executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has joined  trade unions including Siptu, Impact and the Irish National Teachers Organisation in supporting the proposed Landowne Road pay deal.

INMO says proposals are ‘minimalist and could have been much more positive’

Operators say dignity of residents being compromised because of State failure

The HSE was given seven years after the introduction of Hiqa regulations to bring units up to compliance. That deadline expires this year. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Tony O’Brien warned of ‘critical’ need for State investment in letter to department

The Minister of State for Health, Kathleen Lynch, said: “If we don’t do anything, we’re going to have serious problems.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Eleven facilities will not meet Hiqa standards unless they are rebuilt or renovated

People taking part in a protest rally in Dublin on Saturday in support of a campaign for improved conditions of employment for workers at Dunnes Stores. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Dublin rally attended by about 3,000 hears calls for Government action to help workers

The country’s largest trade union, Siptu, is to urge its members to support the proposed new public service pay deal

Lansdowne Road deal supported by Impact and INTO, but opposed by IMO and TUI

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

New processes established to address public sector union grievances

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) is to urge its members to reject the proposed new Lansdowne Road public service pay deal in a forthcoming ballot.

Impact urges 60,000 members to accept the proposed agreement

The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants union has said its members were treated in an “inequitable manner” under the proposed new Lansdowne Road agreement on pay restoration.

Proposed agreement on pay restoration to be put to a ballot of union’s membership

Staff on low incomes who cannot benefit fully from the pension levy changes will receive special salary increases to bring them up to the €1,000 level. Photograph: Getty Images

Minsters and high earners excluded from some increases under changes to draft deal

Brendan Howlin, Minister for Publin Expenditure and Reform, speaking to the media outside  Lansdown House. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Proposals also places new restrictionson outsourcing in public service

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said the public service pay deal would cost €566 million over three years  and would “secure a peaceful industrial relations environment until September 2018”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

€566 million deal with Government involves phased increases over two years

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has indicated  his priority in the pay restoration talks would be to assist those on low pay. Photograph: Eric Luke

Pay restoration deal set to be offered in talks over Haddington Road extension

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “Clearly relations between the HSE and St Vincent’s are not in a good place. There does need to be more dialogue between the two and for necessary information to be made available to the HSE.” File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Department of Health to convene talks to resolve the parties’ outstanding issues

Public service staff are expected to receive a boost in earnings of about €1,000 next year under a pay restoration deal being finalised.

Similar pay boost for State employees on the table for 2017

Siptu said “this revelation would seem to confirm the worst fears of Aer Lingus staff that a takeover by IAG will mean major job losses”. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Political reaction: Fianna Fáil calls for suspension of Dáil vote on sale of stake in airline

The group that runs St Vincent’s hospital   has clashed with the HSE. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Boundaries between voluntary hospitals and new hospital groups will have to be drawn

HSE chief Tony O Brien: Took the decision on foot of “specific allegations” received concerning the broader group which operates the publicly-funded St Vincent’s and St Michael’s hospitals in Dublin and the associated St Vincent’s Private Hospital. Photograph: The Irish Times

Move comes after Health Service Executive receives ‘specific allegations’

 Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health:  The board wrote  to him saying  until it had evidence of ‘real and constructive engagement’ on matters of concern, ‘we believe we must pause our engagement with the project’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Board of St Vincent’s suspends involvement due to dispute with HSE and current hospital

Potential deal would likely boost earnings on average by between €800 and €1,000 per year. Photograph: Getty Images

Negotiations expected to move on to pay restoration and industrial relations accord

The Cabinet has agreed to sell the State’s 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus.   Fine Gael and Labour believe they have won significant concessions from IAG in relation to the proposal.

Aer Lingus ‘does not foresee’ redundancies or outsourcing in IAG deal

The introduction of free GP care for children is one of the Government’s key healthcare reforms. While a deal was reached with the IMO several weeks ago, the plan has been strongly opposed by the National Association of General Practitioners

New assurances on scheme for children under six years given to GPs

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

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