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Dr Peadar Gilligan, Chairman of the IMO Consultant Committee, confirmed the move at the organisation’s AGM in Sligo today. Dr Gilligan said that reports in the media today suggest the Attorney General is advising the Government that the HSE action cannot be defended. “Given the reported view of the AG on this matter, we would question why the HSE would waste further taxpayer money by fighting this issue,” said Dr Gilligan,
The IMO has been in dispute with the HSE on this issue since 2009 when it says the HSE unilaterally decided to withhold salary increases due at that time under the 2008 Contract.
According to the union: “A recent Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) hearing on this matter and the reported advice of the Attorney General confirms the IMO position that this payment was illegally withheld. The IMO will vigorously pursue this issue and will proceed with legal cases to the High Court unless the matter is settled.”
Speaking today, Dr Gilligan said that the “unilateral move” by the HSE in 2009 was an “abuse of their position as an employer”. He added: “Is it any wonder that the HSE is struggling to recruit doctors given their record as an employer. Incidents like this feed the general crisis in morale amongst Irish doctors and directly contribute to the current exceptionally high emigration levels amongst Irish doctors.”
Meanwhile, the union’s AGM continues in Sligo with an expected address by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar this evening.