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Health Minister’s hiring policy shows elitist culture still exists – Ó Caoláin

19 April, 2012 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Commenting on the appointment by the Minister for Health James Reilly of another executive to his Special Delivery Unit on a salary of €164,000, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said it shows an elitist culture still exists in government. He said:
“In February we learned that the health minister, James Reilly had appointed Martin Connor to the Special Delivery Unit on a pay package of €160,000 per annum for three years even though this advisor spends an average of two weeks per month in Ireland. Now we learn that another executive, Lis Nixon, has been appointed on a €164,000 salary.
“Clearly an elitist culture still exists in Government. They seem to believe that the larger the salary paid to high executives the better they will be at their jobs, while other workers must take pay cuts and are expected to be more efficient. This Minister and this Government are still pandering to a culture of privilege among many of those occupying senior State-paid positions, as shown by their repeated breaches of their own salary cap for advisors.
“At a time when front-line staff in our public health system such as nurses have experienced pay cuts, huge pressure due to other spending cuts and the mass exodus of colleagues at the end of February, the excessive payments to these executives and to others at the top of the HSE undermines the public service ethos which is the life-blood of our public health services.”

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