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Doctors’ strike called off for a week as IMO considers deal

The 24 hour action planned for next Wednesday has been postponed — but not taken off the table entirely — following developments today.

IMO representatives, including Industrial Relations Assistant Director Eric Young (right)
IMO representatives, including Industrial Relations Assistant Director Eric Young (right)
Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated at 11.02pm

A JUNIOR DOCTORS’ strike planned for next Wednesday has been postponed for a week and is looking more likely to be called off entirely after progress in talks today at the Labour Relations Commission.

Doctors’ union the IMO is demanding an end to shifts for NCHDs running in excess of 24 hours. They also want the HSE to bring in a plan aimed at achieving compliance with an EU directive on working hours.

A two-day break in negotiations between the two sides was called on Tuesday, so teams from the union and the HSE could draw up a plan for a ‘roster verification process’.

Officials examined work schedules at two hospitals yesterday to examine work schedules, and to see what needs to be done to bring the rosters into line with the IMO’s demands. The talks today were due to focus on a plan to roll that process out to all hospitals.

The IMO has confirmed tonight that a proposal tabled during negotiations today will be discussed with the union’s junior doctors’ panel on Monday. A decision will then be made on whether to put it to a wider ballot of all NHCD members.

The union has agreed to a one week suspension of the action, but the strike threat remains on the table.

Assistant Director of Industrial Relations at the IMO, Eric Young, said the situation “remains uncertain”. He added:

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“[...] if the proposals are not acceptable to the IMO NCHD Committee the HSE will be obliged to put in place adequate contingency plans to allow the industrial action to proceed on 2nd October”.

This article was originally posted at 10.05pm.

Read: Nurses row in behind planned strike action >

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Daragh Brophy

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