IMO denies 'triple pay' claim
A war of words is continuing between the IMO and HSE over the breakdown of talks aimed at averting the threatened strike by junior doctors.
The IMO has strongly denied a claim made by the HSE's head of Human Resources, Barry O'Brien yesterday that the union is looking for triple time payment for juniors if they are forced to work beyond 24 hours in a single shift.
Talks between the IMO and the HSE aimed at averting the threatened industrial action from next Tuesday have reached a stalemate, with a major sticking point being the issue of sanctions on hospitals who exceed planned new 24 hour limits on continuous shifts by doctors.
The HSE said the IMO wanted these sanctions to take the form of triple pay for doctors where shift limits are exceeded.
Val Moran, Senior Industrial Relations Executive with the IMO, said the dispute was not about extra pay for NCHDs.
"It's about getting the HSE to end the illegal practice of forcing young doctors to work continuous shifts in excess of 24 hours at a time and often up to 100 hours a week. If the HSE meets its commitments there will be no sanctions."
The IMO said junior doctors were looking for current pay (1.25 times normal hourly rate) for hours in excess of 24 hours in a single shift, plus time in lieu for the extra hours worked beyond the 24 hours in the shift.
It said where the HSE claims that lack of resources mean that doctors cannot get the time in lieu, they should be paid for the relevant hours (worked over 24 hours in a shift) at the standard hourly rate.
The IMO says it wants an end to shifts of more than 24 hours and it wants the HSE to abide by the European Working Time Directive (EWTD).
If this was achieved there would be no question of extra payment for junior doctors, it stressed.
The IMO plans to start the industrial action with a one-day strike by junior doctors on next Tuesday, which is likely to cause major disruption to services.
[Posted: Wed 02/10/2013]