SIPTU has challenged an attempt by the management of the HSE to re-interpret the Haddington Road Agreement to include targeted redundancies and it’s placing of cost savings ahead of the provision of patient services. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “I despair at the content of a memorandum issued today (6th November) by the HSE National Director of Human Resources, Barry O’Brien, in which it states that a scheme aimed at an unspecified number of targeted redundancies will commence on 1st January, 2014. "This attempt to re-interpret the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement will inevitably lead to further uncertainty for thousands of health service workers whose morale is already at rock bottom." He added: “There is also deep concern about HSE management’s attitude to the exiting terms of the Haddington Road Agreement. If this memorandum is an accurate reflection of its position, senior management at the HSE has determined that section 2.5 of the agreement be nullified and that it has the right to enforce additional hours of work on employees who have already opted to take a pay cut in order to maintain their existing hours of work. Such an action will lead to an inevitable confrontation with health service unions. “We also agree with the concerns expressed by the four hospital CEO’s about the threats to the health service due to underfunding and shortage of resources. The threatened targeted redundancies of staff will only serve to compound the problem they have identified in their letter to the HSE director general.”