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The Organisation said that, when it commenced its legal challenge, it was with a view to securing back pay.
“However this was an issue that would have to be ruled upon by the Courts and there was no guarantee that we would win the case. Our role is to secure the best possible deal for our members and we believe, given the uncertainty of legal proceedings and the fact that no public servants have achieved back pay in any of their arrangements, this agreement represents the best way forward.
“If we had won the case it was almost certain that the Government would appeal leaving NCHDs with no increase in income and engaged in protracted legal proceedings for years. If we had lost the case there would be no other opportunity to have the allowance paid.”
This week the IMO reached agreement in a High Court settlement in respect of the living out allowance. The union said it also secured a review of training and education supports.
“The living out allowance is €3,193 per year and is payable from 1 July 2017. Importantly the IMO has ensured that this payment is now incorporated into salary which means your basic pay will increase by this amount and all other payments such as overtime and premium pay will be calculated on the new basic pay,” the union told members.
There will be a three-month review at the Workplace Relations Commission to specifically deal with the continuing education requirements of NCHDs and the resources required. “That review will commence in March and be completed by the end of May 2017. In the context of the High Court settlement, the management (HSE and Department of Health) acknowledge the need for enhanced training supports for all NCHDs. ‘
There is “no specific timeline” for the review of the NCHD contract. However, the union said it believes it has put NCHD issues “firmly on the Government agenda”.
Meanwhile, the NAGP welcomed the restoration of the allowance. Dr Maitiu O’Tuathail, GP trainee represenative, said it would make a real difference to trainees in general practice. He said a significant number are heavily indebted after graduating from graduate-entry medicine degree courses.