State facing €100m bill in consultant pay ruling
THE HSE is appealing an Employment Appeals Tribunal ruling which could result in the State paying consultants millions of euro in compensation.
Nearly 2,000 hospital consultants could be entitled to a massive payout after the recent decision.
However, the HSE have said they will appeal the tribunal’s decision to the High Court.
The issue surrounds the HSE’s failure to pay higher salaries agreed more than seven years ago.
It emerged today that the Employment Appeals Tribunal awarded Thomas Hogan – a former consultant anaesthetist in Dublin hospitals – nearly €100,000.
John McDermot, a consultant endocrinologist at Blanchardstown hospital, was also awarded €14,000 by the EAT.
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) welcomed the outcome.
“The salary underpayments, the subject matter of their claims, are separate from the FEMPI salary cuts that were imposed on consultants like all other public servants,” they said.
Concerns have been raised the State could face a compensation bill of more than €100m.
It is understood that 150 consultants have decided to go to court to secure the payment, having decided not to go the EAT route.
Under a 2008 contract, nearly 2,000 consultants agreed to several new conditions – including new work practices, restrictions on weekend work, extended rosters and private practice.
Former Health Minister Mary Harney offered consultants salaries of between €170,000 and €240,000 under the new conditions.
While the first payment was made, a second payment has not been made. Further, as the economy collapsed, the government cut consultants’ pay by 15pc.
The EAT found that the failure to pay was unlawful under the Payment of Wages Act.