asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in approving special allowances for staff officers in the north-eastern health region in respect of the extra responsibilities delegated to them, as was agreed with the Chief Executive Officer on Tuesday, 21st December, 1971 and subsequently submitted to him for approval.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Health Board Officers' Allowances.
A number of proposals similar to that referred to by the Deputy have been received from or are expected shortly from other health boards. The proposal from the North-Eastern Health Board cannot be considered without regard to the other boards. I will convey my decision on the proposals generally as soon as possible.
Would the Minister agree that he told me about four months ago that, in fact, this matter was receiving active consideration? Does the Minister recollect making that statement?
That is right. There are a number of proposals of a similar kind coming from health boards and they have to be reconciled before the final determination can be made. As the Deputy knows, these matters can take more time than I would imagine. It is simply a matter of negotiation.
Surely the Minister must agree that it is unfair that people should be asked to do extra work, and be required to do it over a period of almost 12 months, without receiving remuneration which they understood they would get as a matter of course.
I understand that negotiations are now reaching what might be described as the climax with all the health boards considering these matters together. I am not causing any delay in the final examination.
I am told that the negotiations finished a long time ago and that it is the Minister's sanction that is awaited.
No; because it was found that the proposals differed from one health board to another—I cannot help that—and they have to be reconciled.