20 March 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Property developers want pay cuts

THE Irish Home Builders’ Association has renewed its calls for pay cuts for workers so that “competitiveness” can be restored to the building industry in the 26 Counties.
This comes a fortnight after the Construction Industry Federation issued similar calls for a 12-month pay freeze and one-third pay cut in new workers’ hourly rates of pay.
John Moran of the IHBA said that these calls are being made as “there’s also a cost to how much you can afford to pay a person to do a day’s job” and as a result property developers want to see “a correction in labour prices”.
SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor described the pay cuts proposal as “neither morally nor economically justifiable”.


Doctors say HSE has no money for new consultants

THE doctors’ representative body, the Irish Medical Organisation, has said this week that it believes that the Health Service Executive has no money to appoint new consultants and this is why consultants have not received new contracts.
According to the IMO, doctors have been waiting since the end of January for a new contract which has not materialised. The chair of the IMO consultant committee, Dr Seán Tierney, said:
“We have some concerns that this process is being deliberately delayed by the HSE, who actually want to save money. I mean, all we’ve heard from the HSE in the last three months has been: ‘We need to save money’.”
The IMO has now given the HSE until the end of the month to bring them the contract. The HSE has denied that financial difficulties are the main cause of the delay.


HSE hopes to make hundreds redundant

IT EMERGED this week that the Health Service Executive is hoping to make hundreds of people redundant as part of its ongoing cost-cutting initiatives but it will need Government approval to implement its plan.
This plan arose after talks between HSE Chief Executive Professor Brendan Drumm and Health Minister Mary Harney. Minister Harney is believed to have said that mass redundancy packages should have been offered in 2004 when the HSE was first established. Union action in 2004 from the health service section of the IMPACT trade union had ensured that administrative workers and certain management grades would be guaranteed their jobs in the new HSE. After a review of the HSE, it is believed that they want to implement a scheme where 1,000 people will be made redundant at a cost of €75 million.
Kevin Callinan, a representative of the health division of IMPACT, said that his union would need to be convinced that the scheme was of benefit to the taxpayer before they agreed to anything.


Labour Court doubles compensation to immigrant worker

VALERIJ ROMAICHEV was awarded €7,000 extra on top of the €5,000 compensation he won last year after taking a case against his employer, Prestige Recycling.
The worker’s case was based on claims that he was over-worked, did 66 hours per week and did not receive his proper breaks or holiday entitlements.
The Labour Court found in his favour last year and awarded him €5,000 which he appealed and this was raised by €7,000. The court was told that the claimant had been employed by the company for two years. His evidence was unchallenged as no representative of Prestige Recycling turned up to defend the company in the Labour Court. 

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