Pay/Rights  Members Updates 
Review of Allowances - Update No. 3: 11.10.12
Important Notice

Attn: All INMO Members

 
Dear Member
 
I refer again to the review of allowances, initiated by the government, last year which was the subject of a government statement on 18th September 2012.
 
As you will undoubtedly have seen the issue of allowances has again been raised, in the media, as the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has written a further letter to all public sector management on this issue.
 
In view of this coverage, and to assist in clarifying the matter which is obviously of concern to all members, I would draw your attention to the following:
 
  1. The INMO met with the Health Service Executive, yesterday Wednesday, 10th October 2012, and the HSE has confirmed that all local Human Resource Managers will be advised to calculate and process retrospective payments, back to January 2012, for allowances that were frozen since that time.  

    This retrospection will apply to all nurses and midwives who have been working, since January 2012, in areas that attract a qualification or a location allowance but who did not receive it due to the ongoing review which had led to the suspension of such payments.

    The letter of instruction is due to issue, from central HSE, immediately to advise all local areas to calculate and make all outstanding retrospection payments under these allowance headings.   

     
  2. In relation to the apparent renewed efforts, by government, to remove some allowances, from some existing staff across the public service, I would draw your attention to the attached press release that the INMO issued yesterday evening.

    The initial list of allowances, tabled by the management side yesterday, only referred to two of concern to nurses and midwives (the Island Allowance and Gaeltacht Allowance) but these payments are obviously of central concern to our members in receipt of same and must be protected.

    Please note no allowance has been stopped/removed as a result of this recent development.  The INMO will now take all steps necessary to protect these allowances and ensure they are not removed at some future date.
 
However, and more fundamentally, the attempt to remove allowances, which form the core pay of any grade, group or category in the public service including nurses and midwives, is completely in breach of the Croke Park Agreement.  This Agreement overtly protects the pay of public servants, from further cuts, in the context of the increased pension levy and previous pay cut unilaterally imposed by the passing of a law.
 
The INMO will be meeting with other public service unions, tomorrow (Friday, 12th October 2012), to discuss this development and to agree what collective strategy will be adopted to protect the allowances of our members.  In addition the INMO is writing, today, to organisations in the 24/7 Alliance, to convene a meeting of the Alliance in order to discuss this development and to prepare agreed initiatives to protect our members interests.
 
Please bring this notice, and press release, to the attention of all members, in your workplace, to ensure there is clarity on this matter.  Newspaper headlines, this morning, are grossly misleading.   At the same time, the principal that allowances, paid to nurses, midwives and many other public servants, are core pay, and therefore protected by the Croke Park Agreement, must be upheld if the Croke Park Agreement, requiring co-operation with major change, is to be sustained.
 
A further update will issue on this matter, on a regular basis, in the coming days and thank you for your attention to this note.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Liam Doran
General Secretary 
 

 


5th October, 2012.

Allowances in the Public Health Service

Mr. John Delamere,
Senior Employee Relations Executive,
Corporate Employee Relations Services,
HR Directorate,
Health Service Executive,
63-64, Adelaide Road,
Dublin 2.
John.delamere@hse.ie
 
Mr. Barry O’Brien,
National Director of Human Resources,
HSE,
Dr. Steevens Hospital,
Dublin 8.

nationalhr@hse.ie

(Urgent by email – original in post) 

RE: Allowances in the Public Health Service
 
Dear Mr. Delamere & Mr. O’Brien,
 
I refer to the Minister’s announcement in respect of allowances in the Public Service.  I also refer to previous commitments from the HSE which are recorded as part of the NJC Minutes and also the Joint Information & Consultation Forum Minutes, which is, that once the review was completed and if the allowances were to remain, retrospection would apply.
 
The Minister in his announcement has also confirmed that allowances in category B are now rightly payable to those who qualify for them from the date in question, i.e. January 2012.  
 
I would be grateful if you could advise your regional offices of this as they seem to have some difficulty in understanding the Circular from the Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform.  Please note that your colleagues in the Voluntary Hospitals have already processed the retrospective payments due and it is not, as far as we are aware, a difficulty in those settings.  
 
I would be grateful therefore, as a matter of priority, if you could get a notice into the system which clearly confirms what the Minister’s statement outlines in relation to allowances that are to continue, albeit with a future review.
 
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
 
Is Mise,
 
 
 
PHIL Ni SHEAGHDHA,
Director of Industrial Relations.

 


19 September 2012

Attention All INMO Members

RE:  REVIEW OF ALLOWANCES AND PREMIUM PAY-OUTCOME

As members are aware the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin T.D. had asked his Department to Review all Public Service Allowances and Premium Pay. The outcome of that review was announced last evening 18.09.12.

The INMO have examined the results of the review and while clarification is required in respect of some areas the following are our initial observations in respect of the contents;

The Department has confirmed that;

  • In the main changes to allowances and Premium Pay will be confined to the new beneficiaries (that is, a new public servant or a serving public servant not currently in receipt of that allowance or premium pay).
     
  • Pending completion of the review, approval for payment of the allowance to any new beneficiary was withdrawn from 31 January 2012 and will not be restored in the case of any allowance where the review has determined that there is no business case for its payment to new beneficiaries.  Where payment to new beneficiaries has been approved, the payment will be backdated to that date”.

THE REVIEW CATEGORISES THE ALLOWANCES INTO THREE CLASSES;

A. ALLOWANCES PROPOSED TO BE ABOLISHED FOR NEW BENIFICIARIES;

  • Nursing and midwifery allowances that are listed under this class are;
  • Community allowance (clarification will be sought as to grades this is referring to.)
  • Registered general nurse in the community allowance (paid to RGNS   undertaking certain specified duties of the PHN.)
  • Dual responsibility allowance.
  • Midwifery qualification allowance . (Clarification will be sought as to grades this is referring to.)
  • Special allowance for weekend public holidays. (This allowance is currently paid to Nurses who act up for Director at weekends and public holidays in specific hospital bands)
  • Nurse Coordinator allowance (paid in theatre to staff nurses acting as shift co coordinators relating to on-call periods)
  • Specialist Coordinators Allowance (nurse tutor).

B. Allowances approved for new beneficiaries but subject to review and /or modification.

  • Nursing and midwifery allowances that are listed under this class are;
  • Location allowance
  • Specialist Qualification allowance
  • Acting up allowance
  • On-call/call out allowances
  •  

C. Allowances to be approved for new beneficiaries.

  • Nursing and midwifery allowances that are listed under this class are;
  • Shift allowance
  • Sunday premia
  • Saturday allowance
  • Unsocial hours
  • Sleep in overnight allowance.

The Department in its explanatory note states that the allowances which fall under appendix b:

will be reviewed and amended as appropriate by their parent dept, following due consultation and engagement with the respective staff representative bodies over the course of the next year”.

It also states that;

“The business case for retention of the allowance while duties are being undertaken is approved.”

The INMO will now engage with the Department of Public Enterprise and reform seeking clarification in respect of some of the allowances listed in class A and B.

 We will also engage with Dept of health / HSE as outlined above and ensure immediate retrospective payment for nurses / midwives who have been working in qualifying locations and/or with qualifications approved for the allowance since January 2012 without receiving this payment.

 The INMO will approach these engagements with a view to maximising the benefits to nurses and midwives and will utilise the third party machinery of the state if required.

Please address any questions on this notice to your Industrial relations officers, information office or the undersigned.

Please see the links below to the full text of the announced review and the Ministers speech relating to it and the Department of public expenditure and reform’s frequently asked question document .

 

Is mise,

PHI Ni SHEAGHDHA
Director of Industrial Relations

 

 Review of Public Service Allowances and Premium Payments
 FAQ
 Outcome of Review of Public Services Allowances

 

 

 
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