Doctors urged to back public pay deal

IMO recommends acceptance of accord, but says it still has ‘reservations’

The proposed new public service agreement does not cover GPs who are independent contractors rather than direct State employees.

The proposed new public service agreement does not cover GPs who are independent contractors rather than direct State employees.

 

Doctors who are members of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have been urged by their trade union to accept the proposed new public service pay agreement in a forthcoming ballot.

The IMO said its governing council had decided to recommend that members back the proposed accord “albeit with reservations”.

It said that in recent talks with the Department of Public Expenditure it had been agreed that a review of issues surrounding the recruitment and retention of doctors would be conducted “expeditiously” and that there would be further discussions with the Government on the proposals that emerged from this process.

Review

The review will be carried out by the Public Service Pay Commission.

“While having serious concerns that the issues causing the medical manpower crisis in Ireland, including the fact that in excess of 400 consultant posts remain unfilled, have not been addressed by the agreement,the IMO council is of the view that the IMO should accept the agreement, albeit with reservations, so as to allow the IMO to actively participate both in the report of the Public Service Pay Commission and in any subsequent discussions with Government.

“The IMO council wishes to ensure that all doctors receive the pay increases agreed under the agreement and are protected by the terms of the agreement against any moves by the employer to alter terms and conditions without negotiation, as has happened in the past.”

The IMO represents consultants, non-consultant hospital doctors and public health doctors working in the public service.

Independent contractors

The proposed new public service agreement does not cover GPs who are independent contractors rather than direct State employees.

Last week the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation urged its 40,000 members to back the new public service pay deal in a forthcoming ballot.

The public service agreement, which for most staff would deliver pay improvements ranging from 6.2 per cent to 7.4 per cent over the next three years, is expected to be formally ratified by the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions at a meeting on September 18th.

The proposed deal has already been backed by large unions such as Siptu and Impact.

However, it remains to be seen whether it will be supported by State employees in the education sector.