Monday 23 October 2017

Counsellors working on contract for Console 'bottom of pecking order' to get paid

Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry Photo: Tom Burke
Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry Photo: Tom Burke
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Counsellors working on contract for Console were told by a liquidator appointed to the insolvent suicide charity that they are “at the bottom of the pecking order” when it comes to getting paid, a Fianna Fail TD has claimed.

Marc MacSharry said that counsellors are still owed close to €5,000 each for work carried out in May and June, and called on the HSE to release the money.

In a statement, Mr MacSharry said: "It has come to light that despite the sensitive nature of this vital front line service, contract clinicians were yesterday crudely informed by the liquidator that they were ‘at the bottom of the pecking order’ to receive monies outstanding for the months of May and June which amount to close to €5,000 in each case.”

The Health Service Executive last week released €20,000 to “sustain vital services” at the beleaguered charity since the scandal broke three weeks ago. 

Mr MacSharry said the counsellors, who "had nothing to do with the recent scandal", were "already forced to accept only 89% of what was due to them for work carried out from the time that the Prime Time Investigates programme aired on June 23rd to July 12th.”

He said many “affiliate counsellors” are also “out of pocket having provided critical support to service users.”

Mr MacSharry has called on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to ensure that they are paid in full. "It is totally unacceptable that key staff who have carried out exemplary work, service and commitment to vulnerable families are being penalised by the actions of the former CEO. The HSE must not let these workers be neglected any longer,” he said.

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