Reilly indicates renegotiation of Croke Park Agreement may be needed
HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has indicated that the Croke Park Agreement on public sector pay and conditions may need to re-examined in light of the financial pressures affecting the health service.
The Minister was speaking to RTÉ Newsthis evening following a day in which he was heavily criticised for failing to address the €130 million in cost-saving measures announced by the Health Service Executive yesterday.
Reilly failed to give any interviews following the announcement of the cost-saving measures, which include a reduction in the provision of Home Help services by 5.5 per cent, leading to criticism from opposition politicians.
But in an interview this evening he outlined his concerns about the levels of absenteeism and sick pay in certain sectors of the health service and indicated that savings – €700 million which are needed next year – may have to come from pay which accounts for 70 per cent of his hospitals budget.
Under the Croke Park Agreement between the government and public sector unions there can be no cuts to pay in the public service, a situation which Reilly indicated was increasingly unsustainable.