Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Meat plant vets to cut inspections bill by €1m

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Meat plant vets have agreed to shave almost €1m off the annual meat inspection bill paid by the Department of Agriculture.

Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) represented by Veterinary Ireland have accepted a 5pc cut in their wages in a deal that will see the annual meat inspection vet bill slashed from €18.3m to around €17.38m.

The move will save the Department around €915,000 annually in vets' fees and is the latest instalment in a long-running saga between the Department of Agriculture and TVIs in meat plants.

CONTROVERSIAL

Some 650 vets working part-time in meat plants implemented a controversial work to rule in meat plants just before Christmas last year over plans to replace vets with agricultural officers (AOs) in a cost-saving plan by the Department.

The new rate of pay for TVIs will be approximately €64.50/hr, down from the current rate of €67.88/hr.

Veterinary Ireland chief executive Finbar Murphy described the 5pc pay cut as a temporary measure, which would be reviewed after one year.

Meanwhile, Minister Simon Coveney has invited submissions from interested parties on his plan to reduce fees paid to TVIs.

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Before the Minister creates new regulations to overhaul the meat inspection service, he will carry out a review of the service and consult with stakeholders.

The consultation period shall be completed by Friday, June 29, but written submissions must be made to the Department before June 13.

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