Statement by IMO Council - Friday 24th May 2013
Friday 24th May 2013. The Council of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) met last evening to consider the organisation’s response to the outcome of negotiations between the IMO and the Government in respect of the so-called Haddington Road Agreement on pay and terms in the Public Sector.
The Council received an extensive briefing on the outcome of the talks process by Steve Tweed, Director of Industrial Relations.
The Council acknowledged that the proposed agreement represented progress compared to the proposals put forward in the recent Croke Park II agreement which was rejected in a ballot of IMO members (the IMO walked out of the Croke Park II talks as a protest at the proposed agreement terms). The Council paid tribute to the work of Steve Tweed and his colleagues on the negotiating team including a number of members who made themselves available to support the negotiators.
The Council deferred making a decision on the proposals at last night’s meeting and has undertaken to consider the matter further at a special meeting in two weeks time.
So as to allow the Council to fully consider a response at this next meeting, the IMO will seek clarification on the terms of reference (ToR) for the negotiations due to commence in June under the heading “Retention of graduates of Irish Medical Schools”. The ToR should specifically address the definition of “new entrant consultant” and review the pay structure of same.
While such clarifications will enable Council to consider the matter in greater detail, grave concern was expressed at the Council meeting last night over the inequitable treatment of doctors in regard to non-restoration of pay and increment reductions (it is inequitable that Doctors earning over €100,000 should NOT have the imminent cuts in their salary restored in due course as is proposed for all other workers.) This has the potential to further damage the ability of the Irish Health service to attract and retain talented doctors. It poses a threat to patient services. The IMO has requested that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform reconsiders this matter.
This matter will be reconsidered at a special meeting of the National Council on 5th June next.