Industrial Action
Irish Medical Organisation

Industrial Action

IMO Statement - 21 January 2017

IMO to enter talks with Department of Health on Living Out Allowance


At a meeting of the IMO NCHD Committee and IMO Council today the members considered an invitation from the Department of Health to enter talks on the issues relating to the Living Out Allowance.
 
Despite reservations as to the willingness of the Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to engage meaningfully in addressing these matters, the IMO have agreed to defer the ballot for Industrial Action by NCHDs pending the outcome of the talks.  However it should be noted that the IMO is proceeding with its legal action against the HSE in regard to the Living Out Allowance and this matter is scheduled for hearing in the High Court on 21st February 2017.  Should agreement not be reached in these discussions the IMO will reactivate the ballot for industrial action by Non Consultant Hospital Doctors.
 
Speaking today Dr John Duddy, President of the IMO said “The prime concern of doctors is the care of patients and no doctor wants to take industrial action.  However given the persistent attitude of Government and the HSE who show a blatant disregard for NCHDs we have had no choice but to consider industrial action.  While we are prepared to enter discussions and we hope those discussions will yield a positive result there are many issues that need to be addressed to stop the trend of doctors leaving Ireland to work abroad.  The reasons why doctors leave Ireland are multi faceted and are not just about pay but also around training, working conditions and career progression. Government must recognise this and develop a coherent retention programme to keep our doctors in Ireland.”
 

Regional Meetings on Industrial Action

The time for NCHD action has come and all NCHDs are asked to attend a meeting of NCHDs in your region.

The meeting is to discuss NCHD action in advance of the workplace ballot for industrial action to be held before the end of January 2017.

The IMO and your IMO NCHD Committee are stepping up the action to progress the Living Out Allowance, training supports, and other contract issues as a matter of priority.

In the face of a Government and employer who refuse to acknowledge and deal with these issues the NCHD Committee remain of the view, having listened to our members, that we have no option but to proceed with a ballot for industrial action. The current position, while we still remain in a protracted legal process is unacceptable, and NCHDs must clearly demonstrate to Government that it is TIME FOR CHANGE.

The action is supported by the IMO consultant committee.

Thanks to those who attended the Time for Change meetings and joined the campaign. All NCHDs are now called to action to progress these issues by action in 2017.

Only a loud and strong NCHD body, speaking with one voice will achieve our objectives.

Please make sure to bring your colleagues along.

The meetings are being held;

16 January 2017 at 6 pm   Cork University Hospital, Main Lecture Theatre

17 January 2017 at 6 pm   University Hospital Limerick, Education Centre Lecture Theatre

18 January 2017 at 6pm    Galway University Hospital, Education Centre    

19 January 2017 at 7pm    Davenport Hotel, Merrion St., Dublin 2

Please respond to nchdissues@imo.ie and indicate which meeting you plan to attend to accommodate numbers.

Workplace Ballots will be held after the meetings and only those NCHDs who are members of the IMO will be entitled to take part on the ballot and will have the protection of being a Trade Union member in any industrial action.

STAY WITH THE IMO AND ENCOURAGE YOUR COLLEAGUES TO JOIN

ATTEND IMO MEETINGS EITHER IN YOUR HOSPITAL OR AT REGIONAL VENUES

GET ACTIVE AND GET ENGAGED – WITH STRENGTH AND UNITY WE CAN SUCCEED

CHANGE WILL ONLY HAPPEN IF NCHDs ARE STRONG AND UNITED

5 STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE

STEP 1                 STAY WITH IMO AND ENCOURAGE COLLEAGUES TO BE PART OF THE CAMPAIGN

STEP 2                 ATTEND IMO MEETINGS

STEP 3                 STAY INFORMED THROUGH FACEBOOK (put in link here)

STEP 4                 VOTE IN THE UPCOMING BALLOT

STEP 5                 GET ACTIVE AND STAY ENGAGED – IT’S YOUR FUTURE AT STAKE

The IMO has been on a campaign to gather the views of NCHDs through our Have Your Say Meetings.  We listened to what you and your colleagues had to say which culminated in our Time For Change Agenda.

Despite lots of talk about health reform and wanting to keep doctors in Ireland it is clear that this Government, the Department of Health and the HSE have no interest in engaging in any positive way with NCHDs…..and indeed treat us with absolute disrespect.

The IMO NCHD Committee has met to consider what options are available to us in terms of pursuing an agenda of change with our employers.  While deeply regrettable, in the face of a Government that does not care, we have no option but to hold a ballot for industrial action up to and including strike action. Preparatory work is underway and a ballot will issue following information meetings with NCHDs.  It is vital that all NCHDs take part.

This decision has not been easy but has been made in the context of:

HSE, Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure & Reform breaching an agreement reached in the High Court on 27th October – that agreement allowed for negotiations on Living Out Allowance and other issues such as training yet after just two meetings the management side collapsed the talks.  The Living Out Allowance is worth €3,182 and there are over 4,000 NCHDs are who entitled to this under contract but who have not been paid.  That equates to between 5% and 10% of pay due to you that has been stopped by HSE.

Consistent breaches of contract in relation to payment of overtime and other entitlements

No recognition of prohibitive costs to individual doctors who have to pay for necessary training from personal resources.

Ongoing lack of respect for the working conditions of NCHDs where they are treating patients in overcrowded and under resourced environments.  This is leading to an ever increasing number of doctors emigrating to work in countries that value and respect them.

You deserve to be listened to and this Government must adopt a realistic and workable retention initiative for NCHDs that will allow them to ultimately pursue their career in Ireland.

Yours sincerely,

Dr John Duddy, IMO President

Dr Paddy Hillery, IMO NCHD Chair

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.”

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