81 staff in publically-funded organisations make legal case against pay cut

Laverne McGuinness

The Health Service Executive says 81 of 143 people employed at organisations in receipt of taxpayers' money have made a legal case for breaching public pay policy.

A total of 47 people at the organisations have allowed their pay be cut to come into line with public sector policy, while work with others, including at the Central Remedial Clinic, is ongoing.

Some 67 staff say they have "contractual obligations", and another 14 have indicated they too have contracts that prevent their pay being cut.

Deputy Director General of the HSE Laverne McGuinness says that when people retire or leave their jobs, their replacements will have to comply with pay caps.

"The support for these particular cases will be on the strict understanding that once the current post-holder no longer holds the roles and responsibilities attached to the roles, then the non-compliant remuneration will cease," she said.

"In addition, when the post-holder vacates the position, all future appointees will be remunerated in line with the Department of Health consolidated salary scales."

A HSE spokesman later said that the HSE may not take legal action against workers who are in breach of public-sector pay guidelines.

The HSE’s Human Resources chief Barry O'Brien said that it will look at each case individually to decide on a course of action.

“Clearly, one has to have due regard for legal advice which says that if there is a legal contract in place and you seek to alter the contract and one pursues that through the legal route, and you are likely to lose, I think it is not prudent to spend taxpayers money in that way,” he said.

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