Consultants ask wage commission for €350m back pay
Hospital consultants have put their case for back pay of around €350m to the Public Service Pay Commission in a hard-hitting submission.
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association said the pay increases - which were reneged on for consultants who signed up for the 2008 contract - should be honoured.
It recently emerged that the HSE withdrew an appeal against two consultants who were awarded the back pay at the Employment Appeals Tribunal - sparking the potential for hundreds of other consultants to get similar compensation.
The consultants' body also wants the commission to end the discrimination which has seen the pay of new consultants since 2012 cut.
This would mean a 25pc pay increase to bring these consultants back to the level of salary earned by their colleagues who were permanent and full-time in hospitals before the cut.
The submission, put forward by Secretary General Martin Varley, said they currently do not reach parity for nine years.
The consultants' body also wants the FEMPI salary and other cuts introduced between 2009 and 2013 reversed.
The doctors say the difficulty in attracting consultants to work in Ireland was exacerbated by the cuts.
The cuts in gross salary of up to 15pc impacted on the doctors' take-home pay and they were exacerbated by increased taxation.
Pension levies were also increased by around 10pc in 2009, the submission said.
The organisation also insisted there should be restoration of trust and an honouring of contracts by the Department of Health.
An Irish hospital consultant's average salary has fallen behind that of doctors in countries like Canada and Australia, to which Irish specialists are emigrating..
The gross salary of an Irish consultant of €162,319 compares with €286,570 earned by their counterpart in the United States.
A consultant in Canada would earn around €216,064. There are some 370 vacant consultant posts in Ireland.