Irish Medical Organisation

Living Out Allowance

Living out allowance payment problem 27/07/2017

The IMO understands that due to a failure by the HSE to update the payment details on their internal system that a number of NCHD’s will be paid at the pre- July 2017 rate.

This difference will be rectified in subsequent payments. We have formally written to the HSE seeking an explanation for this failure, particularly in light of the fact this was agreed in February 2017.  

We will update members further on this matter. 


Base pay for Interns, SHOs and Registrars was increased from July 1st 2017. This means that your hourly rate for all work done from 1 July should have increased, including the last week of your January to July rotation. 

If your hourly rates listed on your payslip for July 1st did not increase, contact us straight away to claim this entitlement:

  •  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. 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.  

What Now? 

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.  


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

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 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.







STEP 2                 ATTEND IMO MEETINGS

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



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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