13 September 2007 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

HSE Chief requests pay rise during recruitment freeze

Chief Executive of the 26 County Health Services Executive (HSE), Professor Brendan Drumm has requested a payrise from the Review Body on Higher Remuneration, during the same week that the HSE announced massive cutbacks and plans for an immediate freeze on recruitment to the HSE.
The review body, which examines the pay of the likes of government ministers, TDs, judges and hospital consultants, will be asked to consider whether to give a salary increase to Drumm who already earns around €330,000 per annum with a 25% annual bonus, as well as a car allowance and pension of 25%.
Unions representing health workers, including the Irish Nurses Organisation, Irish Medical Organisation, SIPTU and Impact are meeting this week to discuss a joint response to the announcements. They have also requested a meeting with the Health Service National Joint Council, the staff and employers industrial relations forum, to discuss the implications of the plan.
Services such as surgery, x-ray, laboratory and outpatients will be cut as a  result of the cutbacks.
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association has condemned the HSE as “failing in its fundamental obligations towards patients”.

Fire-fighters go to LRC

Dublin Fire Brigade is going to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) in a row over fire-fighter escorts in the Dublin Port Tunnel.
Impact and SIPTU, representing the firefighters are opposing proposals to have a convoy of up to eight fuel tankers accompanied by only one Dublin Fire Brigade 4x4 carrying dry powder travelling through the tunnel even though petrol tanks have been classified as “hazards” by the firefighters. 

Aer Lingus talks to resume

Talks between union representatives of pilots and Aer Lingus management are to resume this week in an effort to resolve the dispute over the airline move from Shannon to Belfast.
Impact Assistant General Secretary Michael Landers has described previous meetings as “positive and constructive” and said he was confident a resolution could be reached.

Hewlett Packard staff receive pay increase

Two weeks of industrial action at Hewlett Packard have ended after talks which saw staff receive pay increases originally agreed in 2005. Staff at Hewlett Packard were originally employed by the Bank of Ireland who agreed to the pay increases, but were outsourced in 2005.
Hewlett Packard does not recognise trade unions. However representatives of the company did attend the Labour Relation Commission in an effort to resolve the dispute. The company has agreed to honour all existing pay arrangements and ensure that all staff salaries are in line with these.
The company will continue talks with the Irish Bank Officials Association, who represent the employees, regarding the streamlining of staff terms and conditions in Hewlett Packard.

Tayto staff ballot for strike action

Unionised staff at the Tayto factory in Tandragee, County Armagh have balloted for strike action which could begin this week. The factory has 250 workers, 130 of which are members of Unite trade union and 97% of those have voted in favour of strike action. The dispute has arisen due to concerns regarding pay levels of the employees with Sean McKeever of the union saying that most workers were earning just £5.35 per hour, well below the North’s minimum wage legislation.

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