Irish Medical Organisation

Ballot Result - LRC Proposals


Statement by Irish Medical Organisation

Thursday 14th November 2013. NCHD members of the Irish Medical Organisation have completed their ballot on proposals to settle their dispute with the HSE.

The doctors have voted 76% in favour, 24% against in support of settlement proposals negotiated between the IMO and the HSE under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission.

The Director of Industrial Relations at the IMO, Steve Tweed, has warned that if the HSE fails to honour its commitment on this issue the IMO will escalate the campaign to secure to secure the end of dangerously long working hours. The level of engagement amongst IMO NCHD members remains high and will continue as the campaign moves to the implementation phase.

The dispute was in relation to illegal and dangerously long working hours which NCHDs are forced to work in Irish hospitals. Shifts of over 24 hours and weeks in excess of 100 hours of work are common for NCHDs in the Irish hospital system.

In September 3,000 IMO NCHDs withdrew services from Irish hospitals in a one day strike to protest the issue.

Under the settlement proposal the HSE has agreed to a timeline for the elimination of shifts in excess of 24 hours and for the full implementation of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD). The settlement also includes new arrangements in respect of Health and Safety and a review of the current NCHD career structure to reduce the number of NCHDs emigrating for better working conditions abroad.

Speaking today, Steve Tweed, Director of Industrial Relations at the IMO said that the result of the ballot demonstrated the NCHD’s wish to deal with this matter fairly and quickly and return to their core tasks of helping patients. Mr. Tweed warned however that there remained significant problems with the HSE in respect of credibility and trust; “The NCHDs want a return to normal work but they remain to be convinced by the HSE’s ability to deliver on the ground what they have agreed in the proposals. Any failure by the HSE to meet the deadlines contained in the proposals will see a prompt escalation of this campaign and a return to industrial action.”

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