An HSE official has declared there is ‘no financial gain’ to pensioners recently rehired to work for the service following their retirement. Francis Rogers of the HSE said that its policy is not to rehire pensioners “and that is very clear.”
“In circumstances where it happens it is after having exhausted every other option available to us addressing a service or staff need. The periods involved are generally very short. There is no financial gain in this to the pensioner because for the period they are employed their pension is abated. I feel there may be a public perception they are paid their pension and then the salary as well. It is an issue very closely monitored and there are robust arrangements in place around it,” he said.
Cllr Tom McNamara said that there are retired people working in the HSE who have taken the place of young people now forced out of the country because there is no employment for them. “Newly qualified graduates should be employed into these posts and not a person on a pension. Also, it is not true to say their pension is not affected. They can earn up to the salary that is not up to the level of their pension and their pension is then not touched. So they are on their pension and earning a day’s wage as well.”
HSE director of operations, John Hennessy, said he fully agreed with members’ sentiments on rehiring of retired staff, “which only happens in very exceptional circumstances and where unavoidable” and only applied to a very small portion of the 27,000 staff in HSE West area.
“I also think it is interesting to note that we failed to find any candidates to take up a permanent nursing post in the mid west area, but at every opportunity we go for newly qualified graduates before ever considering retired staff,” he said.
As further debate erupted on the subject it was agreed the matter would be discussed at a special HSE West forum meeting in the future.