Eleven general staff nurses in Mayo General Hospital, who were facing the prospect of being unemployed at the end of this week, have had their contracts renewed for a three month period after the nurses boycotted the offering of a graduate programme which would lead to an immediate 20 per cent decrease in their wages.
Earlier this week management informed the nurses, who have been employed in the hospital since September 2012, that their current contracts of employment will be terminated from May 19. The nurses were told that they instead would be offered the graduate placement programme which will impose an immediate 20 per cent pay cut in their pay.
Westport based Fine Gael Cllr Peter Flynn expressed his concern over the amount of money that is being paid by Mayo County Council to cover the cost of pensions. Cllr Flynn was commenting on the annual financial statement of the council which was presented to the elected members by Peter Duggan, head of finance for Mayo County Council, at the May meeting of the council.
Cllr Flynn said, “The best part of €1 million euro is being spent on wages and expenses” before going on to say, “the thing that worries me is the pensions, there is 16 per cent of expenditure going on pensions. That’s a very big number, a ticking time bomb for not just us but the whole public sector”.
The news that consultants will have to be employed to carry out a strategic study of Knock airport and its future direction, which will not be ready until September, was greeted with dismay from the opposition benches at the May meeting of Mayo County Council. County manager Peter Hynes, who is also a board member of the airport, gave the elected members an update on the work of the strategic review body of the airport which has met twice in the recent past to plan its future. Mr Hynes told the meeting, “It’s best to have the right plan in place, not the quickest plan”. He said that consultants were close to being employed to carry out the survey, which will have to be part funded by the council along with the other interested bodies involved with the airport.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Al McDonnell said, “I’m very disappointed with what the manager has to say, but I’ll take it up with him at the June meeting”. (The May meeting had been agreed to be adjourned after an hour as a mark of respect to a council employee who passed away last weekend). Sinn Féin Cllr Gerry Murray said, “I’m astonished that we have to employ consultants. The big crisis is the bail out of Shannon to the tune of €100 million and the €8 million a year it will get in rents from the Shannon Development properties. Already we’ve lost two routes to Shannon”. However, Mr Hynes refuted that any routes had been lost to Shannon, telling the meeting there was no evidence that routes that were no longer flying were lost to Shannon at all. He also said the board of the airport were 100 per cent behind the current plan.