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Changes to NCHD contract announced

The IMO said that every six months NCHDs have concerns and difficulties around rostering during the changeover. This can place NCHDs in a difficult position with either the employer they are leaving, or the one they are moving to, it said.

In order to provide some support to NCHDs the following section is being added to the NCHD Contract:

“Rosters issued for the periods immediately prior to changeover, generally the second Monday in January or the second Monday in July … must take account of the extent to which NCHDs are due to leave employment and take up employment and associated roster commitments in a different, possibly geographically distant, location. In that context, where NCHDs are due to take up a new post on changeover the employer will avoid placing the NCHD on-call post 5pm insofar as is possible.”

Where the NCHD is due to leave employment to take up duty in a different post in excess of 45 kilometres from their current employment or has been rostered on-call to take effect from appointment to a post in a different location they should advise their current employer at the earliest possible opportunity.

Subject to the employer being informed, every attempt will be made not to roster the NCHD on the Sunday immediately prior to changeover as set out above. Where it is not possible to avoid rostering the NCHD on the Sunday, the employer shall confirm this in writing to both the NCHD and the new employer, who shall make every effort to amend their new roster accordingly. The employer(s) shall be responsible for resolving any rostering conflicts that arise.

The Organisation also advised that it has advocated for and agreed an incremental credit award into the NCHD contract.

Incremental credit will be granted to an NCHD in respect of time spent gaining a graduate qualification (prior to completion of internship) in the health sciences subject to a limit of one incremental point of progression for any such qualification.

This credit will apply from July, so a current SHO 1 holding a relevant degree would move to SHO 3 in July, rather than SHO 2.

“We will monitor the effectiveness of this element as we want to ensure the widest recognition for relevant degrees for our members,” stated the IMO.

The other element the IMO has secured agreement on for NCHDs is experience as an agency doctor. “Many NCHDs spend periods in agency work during their career, and are then disadvantaged when returning to HSE roles,” it said.

In order to address this, it has secured an incremental credit for NCHDs in respect of periods spent employed by an agency and assigned to the public health service for periods of in excess of two consecutive weeks.

“For periods spent employed by an agency there shall be a limit of one incremental point of progression irrespective of the number of periods or duration of same,” stated the IMO.

“This again will apply from July 2018, so if you fall into this category you will have the entitlement from then. If you have a year’s experience this will give you an extra increment, or for example if you have six months, this would bring forward your increment date. In dealing with this matter, the IMO had to strike a balance between recognising agency work while not incentivising employment outside of the public service, and have the HSE and Department accept that balance.”

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