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For the second time in the last three years, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has held a ballot of NCHDs on industrial action, up to and including strike action, in relation to the non-payment of un-rostered overtime at University Hospital Limerick.

The hospital has agreed to accept and pay all unrostered hours that are worked and submitted with consultant approval by Thursday 22nd February, 2018 and, if this agreement is upheld, no industrial action will be necessary. However, should this commitment fail to be met, the organisation has threatened that it will have a mandate to take industrial action.

The IMO stated: “It is regrettable that the regime in University Hospital Limerick has forced NCHDs to resort to the threat of industrial action for payment of hours they have worked in service of patient care. However, the legitimate frustration among these doctors has now reached a critical point”.

The hospital management had previously agreed to pay overtime due and to reform and improve its processes so that underpayments for unrostered overtime would not continue into the future. The results from the completed ballot of NCHDs at University Hospital hospital, taken in the face of repeated refusals by hospital management to honour the commitments made in January 2016, have revealed that the vote was 95 per cent in favour of industrial action, up to and including strike action, enabling the IMO to announce industrial action at the hospital with as little as two weeks prior notice.