Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Non-Nursing Personnel in Cork Military Hospital.

37.

asked the Minister for Defence the cause of the delay in his Department's confirming its preparedness to concede to the nonnursing personnel employed in the military hospital, Collins Barracks, Cork, the same amount of service pay as was agreed between the voluntary hospitals in the area and the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.

Claims for service pay have been served by various unions on a number of Departments and, as the Irish Transport and General Workers Union is aware, negotiations, which included a meeting under the auspices of the conciliation service of the Labour Court, have been in progress.

Pending the outcome of these negotiations, a final decision cannot be taken on the claim made on behalf of the employees in Cork Military Hospital.

Is the Minister aware that negotiations have been completed with regard to service pay with most local authorities and is this a case of the Department of Defence following what other Departments are doing and staying behind everybody else in case anybody would accuse them of giving a fair deal to the workers?

I am waiting for a general decision to be made.

The Minister is well aware that a general decision is not made except by the example of outside employment. That has been made six months ago and why will the Department not give a final decision?

This has wider application than to employees of the Department of Defence.

There is no reason why other Departments would not make a decision also.