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Public service may do local pay deals

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Miriam Ahern

The next public-service pay agreement in 2020 may include some element of local pay bargaining  rather than simply involving an across-the-board arrangement.

A confidential memo to Cabinet in mid-October from  Minister for Public Expenditure,  Paschal Donohoe said preliminary talks with public-service trade unions about a successor to the current agreement had looked at a process involving a local bargaining component.

According to  a report in The Irish Times, it is understood that the minister maintained that a one-size-fits-all approach – the format for all of the public-service agreements since the Croke Park pay-cuts agreement in 2010  – may not be backed by all on the trade union side. Traditionally all teachers, nurses, engineers, gardai, doctors and other public servants have common pay-scales throughout the state.

The current public-service agreement is scheduled to expire at the end of 2020 and full-scale talks on a successor deal would have to commence by  April or May 2020 to allow for public service trades unions to ballot their members on the terms.

Pressures in the health sector, such as the nurses strikes earlier in 2019, and different regional housing costs are driving calls for differentiated pay scales.

Public patients wait four months longer for scans

Posted on October 24, 2019 by Miriam Ahern

People who are unable to afford private medical insurance are disadvantaged when they need to have tests to diagnose serious conditions, according to a new report.

Ireland’s two-tier health service means patients are less likely to get an early diagnosis for a serious illness, such as a brain tumour, if they cannot pay for private diagnostics, the report by  the TASC think-tank highlighted.

The average wait for a brain MRI through the public system is 126 days – over  four months – , the report points out, while private patients wait just six days or about one week.

The situation would be even worse without the involvement of civil society organisations – charities and support groups – which play a significant role in reducing health inequalities in Ireland, it says.

The TASC report examined access to diagnosis for three different conditions: (1) a common cancer such as lung cancer; (2) a rare one such as a brain tumour; and (3) autism spectrum disorder, a complex condition, across three countries with different health systems.

The three countries are Ireland, which does not have universal healthcare and where access is based on residency and, often, means; Germany, which operates a social insurance system; and Spain, which has a national health service.

In Spain and Germany, where healthcare is almost universal, the study notes there were geographical  or regional inequalities in access to lung cancer and brain tumour diagnostics, rather than inequalities based on socioeconomic background.

Top executive pay now 117 times average worker’s wages

Posted on August 21, 2019 by webmaster

A report published by the CIPD and Britain’s High Pay Centre, examining executive pay across the FTSE 100, has revealed that the UK’s largest publicly listed companies paid their top leaders, known as ‘Key Management Personnel’, a total of at least £2.08 billion [€2.3bn] in 2018.

It also highlighted that the average (median) FTSE 100 chief executive earns 117 times more than the average worker in Britain. In other words, it takes the average worker one year to earn what a typical FTSE 100 CEO earns in just three working days.

The report also highlights concerns around corporate reporting on pay and performance for key management personnel, which it found to be inconsistent and lacking transparency.

The CIPD institute stated that: “Fairness is a key issue; if your organisation can’t afford to pay the Living Wage, can it justify a huge gap between its highest and lowest earners?”

The CIPD warned that executive pay is often disconnected from the reward strategy of the wider organisation – and therefore HR teams. But there are steps that people professionals can take to think about this issue in a more holistic context and address pay inequality.

Incoming pay ratio reporting requirements will push executive pay even further under the magnifying glass. HR teams will be under pressure to explain and justify any pay gaps, while taking steps to mitigate the negative impact this could have on culture and performance.

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