| 6.3°C Dublin

Consultants ignore talks despite pay cut threats

HOSPITAL consultants were today holding firm on their decision not to attend Labour Court talks on work practice reforms -- despite threats of a pay cut.

The doctors have ignored warnings from Health Minister James Reilly, inset, and the HSE that they are breaching the Croke Park Agreement and could now face pay cuts.

The Irish Medical Organisation, which represents about 1,000 hospital consultants, has agreed to take part. But the Irish Hospitals Consultants Association (IHCA) will not be there.

Last month the HSE and the two consultant bodies -- the IHCA and the IMO -- negotiated a package of reforms at the Labour Relations Commission.

Unresolved issues from those talks were then referred to the Labour Court for a binding ruling.

The IHCA, however, says the issues to be examined at the Labour Court are not covered by the Croke Park Agreement.

These include plans to cut rest day entitlements, have consultants on call at night and weekends and reduced payments to psychiatrists for providing second opinions.