Sunday 24 September 2017

Health workers paid €28m for premium shifts while on holiday

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

HEALTH staff are getting around €28m during their annual leave for premium shifts they cannot work because they are on holiday.

Figures obtained by the Irish Independent show staff on annual leave get an average of the pay they could expect to receive each week. It applies to health staff whose normal roster involves working every second Sunday, generating premium pay.

The holiday payments are designed to compensate them for losing out on the payments while on holiday, the figures reveal.

The reduction in premium pay from double to time-and-three-quarters is a major cause of objection by nurses to the Croke Park II agreement.

The staff entitled to the holiday pay include nurses, junior doctors and general support staff. The holiday premium pay works out at around €1,000 a nurse, while general support staff get around €600 to €700.

The Psychiatric Nurses' Association is among the unions planning a campaign of opposition to the Croke Park II terms.

It hopes to form a group inclusive of other unions against the agreement, stage a public information campaign and open meetings to public servants all over Ireland to discuss the terms of the agreement.

Irish Independent

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