I got my letter this morning. Much as I outlined in yesterdays post. However the new contract that the HSE is proposing goes much further. I’ll quote part of the IPU’s reaction to it as it sums it up best.
Making all previous agreements null and void by the elimination of clauses 19 (3) and 19 (5) of the current contract so you will not be able to rely on any aspect of any agreement reached over the past 36 years between the Union and the Department of Health and Children / HSE.
Offering an unspecified flat fee for all the major schemes;
Giving the HSE the power to terminate your contract with three months notice;
Giving the HSE the power to alter the terms of your contract at any time and without prior consultation with you;
Fixing the price of medicines for private patients, which raises fundamental Competition Law issues;
Giving the HSE power to determine the reimbursable price of medicines irrespective of what you may have to pay for them;
Giving the HSE an absolute discretion to refuse payment in respect of any claim that does not meet the unspecified requirements of the HSE.
It is also important to note that any pharmacist who accepts the revised contract will lose the right to take legal action to vindicate the terms of their existing contract.
Nothing has changed therefore.”
All that is a bit wordy but the long and the short of it is that they want us to cave in and agree to everything they want.
As usual the cover letter from the HSE is full of the usual
crap lies. It’s as if the last 5 months never happened. When this was announced first last September my feeling was that this was an opening gambit for negotiations. When it looked like no negotiations my feeling was that it would only be sorted out by legal or political means. Many politicians to their credit have done their bit but many have also failed to step up when called. The HSE can stand by for 1500 legal writs in the next few days.
It makes me wonder what qualifications or skills one needs to work in the upper echelons of the HSE. The only ones that have been displayed so far is a thick neck and a thick skull.