Living Out Allowance
- IMO has achieved restoration of the Living Out Allowance of €3,193 per year into salary
- IMO has ensured Education and Training Supports will now be dealt with as a key priority under a review in the WRC
- IMO believes this gives momentum to our ultimate goal – a new NCHD Contract
The IMO has reached agreement in a High Court Settlement in respect of the legal challenge taken by the IMO on behalf of NCHDs on the Living Out Allowance. Additionally we secured a review of Training and Education supports which we know is a key concern for NCHDs. Ultimately what is required is a new NCHD Contract and this agreement gives us the basis to work towards that goal so that we can ensure NCHDs are valued and respected in the health system.
What this Agreement Means for You
When and How Will the Living Out Allowance Be Paid
The Living Out Allowance is €3,193 per year is payable from 1st July 2017. Importantly the IMO has ensured that this payment is now incorporated into salary which means your basic pay will increase by this amount and all other payments such as overtime and premium pay will be calculated on the new basic pay.
What is the Training Review in the WRC?
We have secured a 3 month review at the Workplace Relations Commission to specifically deal with the continuing education requirements of NCHDs and the resources required. That review will commence in March and be completed by the end of May 2017. In the context of the High Court Settlement the Management (HSE and Department of Health) acknowledge the need for enhanced training supports for all NCHDs.
When will there be a new NCHD Contract?
There is no specific timeline for the review of the NCHD Contract however we believe we have now put NCHD issues firmly on the Government agenda. Our position is that in order to retain NCHDs in Ireland a new contract is needed. The IMO are part of the forthcoming Public Sector Pay Negotiations and in the context of our submissions to this body we have clearly stated that pay needs to be increased for NCHDs. With this High Court Settlement and the Pay Sector Negotiations we will drive on for a full contract review.
Why is there no back pay on the Living Out Allowance?
When the IMO commenced the legal challenge it was with a view to securing back pay. However this was an issue that would have to be ruled upon by the Courts and there was no guarantee that we would win the case. Our role is to secure the best possible deal for our members and we believe, given the uncertainty of legal proceedings and the fact that no public servants have achieved back pay in any of their arrangements, this agreement represents the best way forward. If we had won the case it was almost certain that the Government would appeal leaving NCHDs with no increase in income and engaged in protracted legal proceedings for years. If we had lost the case there would be no other opportunity to have the allowance paid.
This Agreement has clearly demonstrated that when NCHDs, through the IMO, are strong and united we can achieve progress. It is vital that we now build on this momentum and to that end we need to make sure that all NCHDs get behind the Time for Change Campaign. Thank you for your continued support of the IMO and please encourage your colleagues to join so we can make change happen.
On behalf of the NCHD Committee and on your behalf we would like to particularly thank Dr Gabriel Beecham, one of our Committee Members, who, on behalf of all NCHDs, was the plaintiff in the High Court proceedings.
CHANGE HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET ACTIVE AND GET INVOLVED IN THE IMO
NCHDs to Ballot for Industrial Action: Full Statement
Government pay policy is leading to insufficient numbers of doctors to adequately treat patients
Patients will suffer in the long run with increasing waiting lists, more overcrowding in Emergency Departments and not enough services provided by GPs
The Council of the Irish Medical Organisation met today and has unanimously supported Non Consultant Hospital Doctors in their ongoing and longstanding efforts to have their contracts honoured in terms of the unilateral withdrawal of a Living Out Allowance in 2012 and other issues around training. While negotiations on these matters are due to commence next week IMO Council fully support their colleagues in taking industrial action, up to and including strike action, to resolve matters should the negotiations not yield an adequate response from Government. The HSE and Department of Health refused to negotiate on the issues over the past number of years and instead have forced doctors to resort to legal proceedings in the High Court and now the possibility of industrial action.
IMO Council have strongly criticised the Government and in particular the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for policies that are endangering our health services and patient safety with a health system that has too few consultants, increasing trends of emigration amongst our NCHDs, GP services at crisis point and inadequate public health planning. The direct consequence to patients of such policies are increasing waiting times, too few hospital beds, cancellation of procedures, persistent overcrowding in our Emergency Departments and inadequate resources to provide care at GP level.
Speaking today the President of the Irish Medical Organisation Dr John Duddy said “The pay policy of this Government in relation to members of the medical profession has led directly to the inability of our health services to retain or recruit doctors. We already have too few doctors in this country to deliver adequate services to patients yet Government have consistently ignored the fact that if you breach contracts and deliberately create a policy that disrespects and devalues doctors they will simply choose to work for countries that value them and allow them to do the work for which they have trained. Doctors, like other members of the public services, were prepared to take cuts in the recession however the cuts applied to members of the medical profession and the consistent breaches of contracts were over and above those suffered by other public service employees. With policies like this in place our health services will continue to roll from crisis to crisis and patients will suffer. Doctors do not want to take industrial action but will be forced to do so by a Government that refuses to acknowledge or deal with the problem.”