As advised previously your IMO NCHD Negotiating Team have entered into negotiations with the Department of Health and the HSE in an effort to resolve the horrendous working conditions for NCHDs and secure a timeline for the development of a new NCHD Contract.
In line with the priority issues identified and voted upon by members we have, during the month of August, proposed to the HSE solutions around:
- Unsafe and illegal Working Hours
IMO have proposed Rostering Rules (not guidelines) that will enable NCHDs to reduce hours to safe limits and have a better work/life balance
- Transparent Verification Systems for Recording of Hours and Payment for all hours worked
IMO are seeking a digital clock in system that accurately records all hours and a guarantee around payment of all recorded hours
- Emergency Tax Issues, Delay in Payments and Issues around moving to new scales
IMO are seeking the swift introduction of a centralised pay system that will address these issues and ensure NCHDs do not face this situation every changeover
- Enhanced Supports for Education and Training
IMO are seeking enhanced funding to TSS, expansion of claimable items under the scheme and improvements to systems so that NCHDs are not out of pocket for long periods of time
IMO are seeking guaranteed study leave for NCHDs particularly in respect of mandatory training and gateway exams
- Increased supports for mandatory rotations
IMO are seeking realistic supports for NCHDs who are mandated to rotate between hospitals
- Timeline for development of a new NCHD Contract
IMO are seeking a definitive timeline to renegotiate the NCHD Contract so that it takes account of the demographic changes in the NCHD population, including issues for international doctors, and is a fit for purpose contract
The negotiations are challenging but we have a strong mandate and have ensured both the Department and the HSE are fully aware of the level of anger amongst NCHDs as to how they are being treated. In fact this year, since July changeover, there have been multiple issues around the country with payroll and NCHDs left with reduced pay to meet their bills, no rosters or rosters that at best can be described as “fluid”, gaps in teams which are creating serous difficulties for NCHDs in terms of additional hours, long weekends and number of 24 hour shifts. The IMO Team have been assisting hundreds of NCHDs and dealing with issues across multiple hospital sites and we encourage you to contact us on email@example.com with any contract problems you are experiencing. Apologies and aspirational promises are not enough and we need to see solutions that are implemented.
Your National NCHD Committee have considered the negotiation process during August and while we acknowledge some progress has been made, it is not enough. We have advised the HSE that we are prepared to engage for a further period up to the end of September but we require significant movement in order to avert industrial action.
We thank you for your ongoing support, patience and loyalty to the IMO. It is only through our collective action and resolve that any solution will be found and we remain absolutely committed to securing better conditions for NCHDs.