Department of Public Expenditure says bonus for health chief not approved

Department of Health sought €24,000 performance bonus for new post

The Department of Health said  it was essential  it was in a position to attract candidates of calibre for what would be a considerable health reform programme. Photograph: Getty Images

The Department of Health said it was essential it was in a position to attract candidates of calibre for what would be a considerable health reform programme. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The Department of Public Expenditure has said it has not sanctioned the payment of a proposed €24,000 performance bonus for the person to be appointed to oversee the implementation of the new Sláintecare health reform plan.

The proposal, which has been made by the Department of Health, was strongly criticised on Thursday by the trade union Siptu.

The Irish Times reported on Thursday that the Department of Health urged the Department of Public Expenditure in a submission that a salary package of between €147,000 and €171,000 should be considered for the new post.

“We could consider making the €24,000 (difference) in the salary range a ‘flexible pay’ element based upon the extent to which annually agreed milestones are delivered,” the submission to the Department of Public Expenditure stated.

The Department of Public Expenditure said the Government terminated performance-related pay schemes across the public and civil service in 2009. “Since then such arrangements have not been sanctioned, and the Government policy on the matter remains unaltered.”

However, the Department of Health said on Thursday it was essential that it was in a position to attract candidates of calibre for what would be a considerable reform programme.

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell said: “This plan to break from public sector pay norms is completely intolerable to our members.”