New consultant deal offers retrospective lump sums

Senior figures say move does not mean general public sector cuts under Croke Park and Haddington Road agreements will be reversed

Medical organisations claimed the cuts led to a brain drain among doctors and left the health service unable to fill a number of key medical posts. Photograph: Thinkstock

Medical organisations claimed the cuts led to a brain drain among doctors and left the health service unable to fill a number of key medical posts. Photograph: Thinkstock

Mon, Jul 28, 2014, 01:00

Consultants who started working after the Government cut their starting salary by 30 per cent will receive a retrospective lump sum under new pay proposals being put forward by the Coalition.

The Irish Times reported at the weekend that the Government was to partially reverse salary cuts on hospital consultants two years ago, which would see their pay increase by almost a quarter from current levels.

The then health minister James Reilly reduced the staring rate for newly appointed consultants by 30 per cent in October 2012, a move medical organisations claimed led to a brain drain among doctors and left the health service unable to fill a number of key medical posts.

It also featured as a major issue for trainee doctors in the recent Strategic Review of Medical Training and Career Structures, chaired by Prof Brian MacCraith, the president of DCU.

Addressing the issue was an urgent recommendation of the report, and Coalition sources said the proposals would see rates rise between 16 per cent and 24 per cent on an incremental basis.

Sources said there would be a “retrospective element” to the new deal to reimburse those affected by the cut.

However, senior figures say the move does not represent the first public-sector pay increases since the economic crisis began and said cuts under the Croke Park and Haddington Road deals would not be reversed.