Irish Medical Organisation

IMO NCHDs balloting on new agreement with HSE and Dept of Health

New agreement will tackle key issues including unsafe working hours, difficulties in getting paid for hours worked, study leave and payroll problems

IMO NCHD Committee to recommend a Yes Vote.

Monday 12th December 2022.  The NCHD Committee of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) is balloting NCHD members to seek support for an agreement with the HSE and the Department of Health on eliminating unsafe and illegal hours. The agreement would see employers being penalised for noncompliance.  The IMO has also secured agreement that an entirely new NCHD Contract will be negotiated starting in January.

The ballot commences today (12th December) and will conclude on Monday next, (19th December).  The NCHD Committee of the IMO is recommending a Yes vote in the ballot.

This breakthrough follows extended negotiations between the IMO NCHD Committee and the HSE and Department of Health.  These negotiations were prompted by the overwhelming (97%) support of NCHDs for action up to and including industrial action in support of the #standingup4NCHD campaign which has run through the current year.

Speaking today, Dr. John Cannon, Chairman of the NCHD Committee of the IMO said: “this agreement has been hard-won, and we believe that while it represents progress in some key areas further reform on NCHD working conditions and training must be secured in the NCHD Contract negotiations which will commence in January 2023.  NCHDs are doctors in training and their work/study and life balance must be protected to ensure safety for both doctors and patients.  We view this very much as a first step in changing the culture in which NCHDs are treated within the system which is bad for doctors, bad for patients and leading to ever increasing levels of emigration.”

Key elements of the agreement include:

  • Introduction of Rostering Rules where NCHDs must be granted appropriate rest and employers will be financially penalised where hours breach the legal limit
  •  Development of new centralised payroll system with interim measures to alleviate the ongoing problems of emergency tax for NCHDs each time they move hospital
  • Nationally agreed timesheet to ensure NCHDs get paid for all hours worked
  • Enhanced training supports and guaranteed study leave for gateway/mandatory exams
  • Increased relocation expenses for NCHDs on training schemes and a commitment to address the “double renting” situation for NCHDs
  • Agreement to begin negotiations on a completely new NCHD contract in January of next year.

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