RENEWED ATTEMPTS BY the government to remove public sector allowances would be in breach of the Croke Park agreement, unions have said.
Reacting to the latest news that the Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin is targeting 88 allowances to be abolished, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said the cooperation of health service staff could not be guaranteed if the government sought to breach its obligations under the current public service agreement.
“The allowances that the Government are now seeking to remove, for many grades across the health service, undoubtedly form an integral and core part of the pay of the staff in question” said Liam Doran, INMO General Secretary. “They cannot be expected to take any further cuts in their weekly/monthly pay and the government must reverse its current strategy.”
SIPTU also condemned any similar move being made by the government.
The INMO and other health service unions were yesterday shown a letter by the HSE from the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Robert Watt. Dated September 28th, it indicated that the government had a priority list of 88 allowances for serving personnel that it wanted to abolish.
The allowances targeted in the letter include:
- A €2,000 island inducement allowance paid to nurses working on islands off the Irish coast.
- A €3,500 Gaeltacht allowances to nurses stationed in Irish speaking areas.
- Medical training allowances for consultants, worth €3,000 a year
- Allowances paid to ambulance staff.
Enda Kenny will later meet with the body overseeing the Croke Park agreement to look at ways in which the public sector pay deal may be extended but with some changes.