Siptu spokesman: Union will reject HSE cost-cutting proposals

Paul Bell

A Siptu spokesman has today criticised new proposals from the HSE aimed at cutting costs in the health sector.

The proposals include staff working an extra two hours per week for the next couple of years, and that flexitime arrangements be discontinued.

The options have been forwarded to unions for their consideration.

The HSE stated that it wants to work within the framework of the Croke Park Agreement on pay and pensions.

However, Siptu Health Division organiser Paul Bell said that the proposals would not be considered by his union.

"All elements of pay are protected under the Croke Park Agreement," he said.

"Now I don't intend to have negotiations over the airwaves but I do want to send this message - we are not going to be breaching the Croke Park Agreement. Our members' core pay is protected and that means overtime rates, it means rates of hourly pay.

"That's what we've signed on to."

He added: "There's a misnomer about overtime - a lot of the excessive overtime bill and agency bill is being created by the insistence of the Minister for Health and the HSE that the moratorium - or the recruitment embargo - stay in place.

"That's inefficient, and it's absolutely detrimental to the service - and that's what's costing a lot of money."

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