Reilly in U-turn on contractors' pay

Minister for Health James Reilly has indicated that contractors working for his department's special delivery unit will face pay cuts. The department had last night said they would not.

Minister for Health James Reilly has indicated that contractors working for his department's special delivery unit will face pay cuts. The department had last night said they would not.

Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 00:00

In a significant U-turn, the Department of Health has signalled that highly-paid contractors working in the health service will face cuts in payments in the event of the proposed new Croke Park agreement being ratified.

The Irish Times reported today that the Department of Health had considered contractors working for its special delivery unit to be exempt from the proposed cuts under the deal as they were not public servants.

Some contractors in the special delivery units work on contracts worth around €165,000 per year.

In a statement today the Department of Health said its response to The Irish Times yesterday on the issue of the contractors had been “factual”.

“It is correct to say that the Croke Park talks do not cover a set of groups including for example pharmacists, dentists, doctors (general practitioners) and a range of others who have contracts for services provided. We are now in a process where trade unions will consider their acceptance of the Croke Park deal.

“However, Minister James Reilly has indicated all people working in the public service (in health which is his area) full-time employees or contractors must share the burden that the country now has to bear.”

“Should Croke Park II be accepted then similar reductions of a proportionate nature will be sought from others through other mechanisms.”