49 thoughts on “De Wednesday Papers

  1. Eoin

    Front page of the Examiner, quelle surprise, the nurses are hopping mad as the detail of the Labour Court recommendation sinks in. Paschal Donohue says the deal will cost an extra €35 million in 2020, a full year. The nurses were looking for €400 million, comprising €300m of pay increases and €100m for additional nursing staff. Who’d have thought the nurses wouldn’t be happy with a deal which delivers less than 10% of what they were seeking.

    And I’d calculate the govt has already saved €10 million a day in unpaid wages for each of the three strike days in the past month (40,000 * 250), so the govt has already banked nearly all of the cost of the nurses deal in 2020.

    Hopping.

    1. Cian

      I agree that the deal may not appease the nurses, however your numbers are a bit off.

      Total HSE pay for 2017 (annual report) was €5.4bn = €14.7m/day; ⅓ of staff are nurses, so (assuming everyone is paid the same from consultant to cleaner) nurses are paid about €5million each day.

      Secondly, there will need to be an amount of catch-up of missed appointments, so there may be opportunities for overtime to get some of that work done.

      1. Eoin

        What’s the average pay for a nurse. Add on employer’s PRSI.
        Excluding holidays, weekends, sick, training days, how many days does a nurse work in a year.
        What’s that multiplied by the nurses on strike.
        Is it significantly different, above or below, €10 million a day.

        1. Cian

          You *could* do it that way – but you’d be wrong.

          My way is simpler and more accurate – because it actually shows how much HSE spends each day.

          Your way overestimates the number of nurses working on a given day. All 40,000 of them don’t work every day – so if they strike you don’t save 40,000 day’s wages.

  2. gerry

    If the contractor low-balled the government and cannot deliver on what they promised the contract should be withdrawn and the work offered to the next tendering company.

    1. Dr.Fart MD

      and Varadkar adding that he hopes some of those contractors don’t get offered state contracts again. . . “hopes” .. rather than making sure they don’t. He says ‘hopes’ because he nor any other FG member would do any actual work to ensure they don’t get offered contracts again. They leave everything up to the private market, and if these contractors come back at a later date regarding a different project, it’s them who have the say, always is, that’s how FG run (dont run) things. So Varadkar can hope all he wants, but it won’t help the country.

  3. J Dizzle

    It may seem obvious now regarding the NCHs budget was total bullpoo but when (unnamed contractor) were announced as the contractors we all laughed in my office l. We made a joke that they would put Saddle on the contract as they were going to ride it into the sunset. What I don’t understand is how they still have the contract, once a contract goes beyond a certain price they must go back to tender. Also government contracts are a little more restrictive, the full design should have been carried out for a more accurate tender. (unnamed contractor) should be the ones suffering as they have signed a contract and should deliver on that price. So either the Design Drawings were shite, or they are hitting them hard on alterations to the original contract.

    1. SOQ

      You make a number of interesting points there.

      You are inferring that this contractor had a reputation for this sort of behaviour, I don’t know and you may be right, but if other contractors knew this then surely those responsible did also. Forewarned is forearmed etc.

      Over runs are limited by EU procurement rules so if government do not re-tender, the other bidders are within their rights to take legal action and the cost of that award may be even more than the over run.

      I am not sure I agree with you on the contractor covering the cost of additional works. If the contractor can prove they adhered to the terms of contract but that other works were crucial to the success of the project, then it is the client who is negligent and must foot the bill.

      And the final point is what I have been saying for weeks. Either the tenders were not fit for purpose or they came across unforeseen issues on the physical site which means the ground work (topographical surveys etc) were substandard, if at all.

      All low ball means is that the contractor played a better game than the client but both should have been acutely aware of the rules before setting foot on the pitch. It is quite clear that in this case, the client did not have the sufficient expertise to either draft the tenders correctly, or later, keep the contractor on a leash.

      1. SOQ

        I am wondering if email played a part in all of this. Unless it is specifically stated within a contract that email is non binding, it can hang you out to dry. I know of several architectural practices which got badly burnt by commitments made via email because they only first appeared within an arbitration setting.

        Increasingly, businesses are blocking staff from communicating directly with clients and all must go through a single email address where everything is recorded. People treat email as a causal conversation sometimes when in fact, within a contractual settings, it is actually the same as a written letter.

      2. garthicus

        “I am not sure I agree with you on the contractor covering the cost of additional works. If the contractor can prove they adhered to the terms of contract but that other works were crucial to the success of the project, then it is the client who is negligent and must foot the bill.”

        Exactly, assuming the contractor has an excellent contracts/PM department, they can recoup a ton of costs and gain extra works through robust change orders.

      3. JDIZZLE

        No, I agree they will get paid for any extras that were omitted from the original contract. The (unnamed contractor) would scour the drawings and point to items that weren’t specified exactly or opportunities to make additional costs claims. That is a given and all of the contractors would have done this to some extent when tendering. My experience with this contractor on a recently completed building was they would make spurious claims or would add in an extra at 10 times the cost, and hope to settle on 2-3 the actual cost. For instance, they claimed 100k for removing extra rock that was an unforeseen, only to settle on 20k but 3 months later try charge for the removal of the rock from site. The original 20k was to cover this but they had left the rock on site and 3 months later had claimed this was new rock. The architect produced pictures that he had taken 3 months earlier and the extra was removed without a quibble. I don’t think there is any contractor operating in Ireland that’s as bad as them. They have a team of Quantity Surveyors whose only purpose is to make claims, and again these claims are questionable. I’d love to see if Leo would ban them from any future government contracts.

        1. SOQ

          Sounds like a bunch of chancers so. But even still, clients develop a reputation among contractors as being on top of their game so they know not to pull a stroke.

          A good PM will have invested in a top range record management system where everything is religiously recorded. It’s the only way to bat against those sorts, with soft copy evidence, like the photograph example you mentioned.

          1. JDIZZLE

            They are a top tier contractor who won the contract who had the cheapest price? Doesn’t sound right does it?

    2. Eoin

      Did you hear what Leo said in the Dail yesterday in respect of the over-run of costs on the National Childrens Hospital

      “there are one or two contractors who, quite frankly, I would not like to see get a public contract again in this State.”

      Who could the political leader of this country be referring to? Leo appears to be admitting that we are in fact being scalped or scammed by “one or two contractors”, by how much? Name and shame.

      1. SOQ

        All contractors come in low in the hope of making it up later, that is a given. But, at that point, if there is any glaring omissions they do not raise them because it suits them not to, which is most likely what happened here.

        Sharp practice maybe but definitely not a scam.

        1. SOQ

          And another point, if there were omissions, NONE of the bidders raised them, otherwise there would have been an amendment posted to the tender.

        2. George

          Total scam. The contract should be torn up and a new one made with the next bidder. If this started happening the underestimating would stop pretty sharpish.

      2. Giggidygoo

        Remember the ‘Welfare cheats cheat us all’ slogan of Varadkar? Will he be out with a similar placard of the ‘low ballers’ or will he be out celebrating with them with high ball glasses?

        Government construction tenders seem to have a habit of coming in low, and then Bam! up goes the price by hundreds of percent. Same company in a lot of cases. ( wasn’t there an overrun in Cork recently too?)

        Pity it was only yesterday Vacron realise this – he might have been able to do something about it before he gifted the NCH to a low baller.?

      3. dav

        Leo deflecting the blame and leaving the government open to claims of bias in all future contract negotiations, that’s 4D chess there..

    1. Eoin

      Big issue for newspaper industry in the UK, it’s acknowledged Brexit stories on the front page are turning the punters off.

  4. f_lawless

    That was a well spent two years!
    “Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia”
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-has-uncovered-no-direct-evidence-conspiracy-between-trump-campaign-n970536?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma
    Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee:
    “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,”
    “We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,”

  5. f_lawless

    Worth a look for anyone following the Venezuelan crisis –
    https://twitter.com/GrayzoneProject/status/1095291556481953793
    “We came to Caracas to break the media blockade and amplify the voices of Venezuelans who are being ignored by corporate media Here is @AnyaParampil’s report on the millions across Venezuela who waited in line for hours to sign an open letter opposing US intervention & aggression”

    1. Rob_G

      The ‘media blockade’ has been caused, for the most part, by Maduro’s regime arresting and intimidating journalists that won’t parrot his propaganda.

      1. f_lawless

        You’ve gone off the deep end there. Maduro has been arresting reporters from the likes of BBC, CNN, Channel 4, etc who are over there now? This is breaking news!
        Asserting that Maduro’s government controls domestic media is not based in reality either. Have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9stw8OFL4E

          1. f_lawless

            My interpretation of ‘media blockade’ in the first link, is it refers to how western media outlets, by not giving citizens loyal to the government a fair hearing, are blocking their voices from from being properly heard by the outside world ..maybe she could have used a better term?

        1. Junkface

          As discussed in earlier. Socialist practices and ideals have totally destroyed Venezuela, and it seems that the guiding hand through all of Chavez’s most insane vandalism, and deconstruction of Government agencies was Fidel Castro’s! I found an excellent documentary made by Venezuelans, many of them in exile. No spin, just truth and real footage, and real discussions with economists, historians and journalists. The documentary is called Chavismo, and it shows just how insane the whole thing was for 20+ years.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_ayIEJCPQ0&index=2&list=LLwkNxnn4v5TCt5ceev0DMbQ&t=0s

          1. Junkface

            Also anyone who says that Venezuela is a complete disaster because of US and international embargoes is talking total rubbish. As explained in the doc, it was the actions of Chavez and his inner circle to deconstruct the country and steal the wealth, which they did.
            And who does he leave to run the country on his death bed? Maduro! His former driver and bodyguard. A man with zero qualifications for political leadership. A man who is himself deranged. There’s so much crazy here that it will take a generation to repair the country.

  6. Shayna

    Gordon Banks sold his World Cup Winner’s medal to help out his family – a couple or three things beg the question, who bought it, how much then versus how much is it worth now? I admit to knowing very little about soccer, but seeing the tribute to his career on BBC News, including “The Save” against Pelé in 1970 – well, he could’ve been an okay GAA player. Kevin Moran did the transition from GAA to soccer back in ’77 – why not vice versa? I was at the All-Ireland final in ’77 – I remember the booing from The Dubs on Hill 16 directed at Kevin Moran when he came on – he’d just been signed to Manchester United – I wonder if Gordon Banks stripped out in an O’Neills jersey at Croke Park in the 70s, a cheer, or a boo from The Hill? Anyhoos – Gordon Banks RIP

    1. Frilly Keane

      Well Tommy O’Leary
      Last I heard now
      Was back playing with his club

      An’ I tell ya
      We missed him big time when he went off to give that rugbee lark is best years

  7. Panty Christ

    British Home Office have sent a certain Malawian county council hopeful back from the Uk to Ireland too. Many holes in their story.

  8. Eoin

    In New York, organised crime group leader Joachim Guzman (who’s estimated to be worth $1 billion) is convicted of distributing cocaine after he was extradited from Mexico in 2017; he now faces life in prison. Meanwhile, Christy Kinahan (who is estimated to be worth €1bn) is living the life of Reilly in Dubai, courtesy of Mary Robinson’s besties, the Maktoums.

    1. SB

      Looking at the shoes, what’s the difference between “blackface” and “a black face”? I can understand indignation when whites put on black makeup but surely those shoes are just portraying a person that happens to be black/”of colour”?

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I GOT THE EYE OF A TIGER

          That’s a banging tune. Though it should be “I’ve”. Americans, eh? Tsssch.

  9. Jonner

    ambiguity = $
    change = $

    reasons contract sums get exceed include

    scope not fully defined at tender stage
    existing ground conditions not defined at tender stage
    location of existing underground services not identified correctly at tender stage
    interface with third party suppliers not defined at tender stage
    complete construction drawings and specifications not available at contract award
    full access to site not available on day 1…….

    saying that lump sum contract will fix all of this is nonsense. fixed price moves risk to the contractor and all tenderers will add this to tender sum.

    looks like the tender documents were under prepared and the contract conditions are weak.

    this is likely due to pressure to have the project issued for tender by a particular date.

    you’d swear it was the first big infrastructure project we have ever delivered, but it’s not.

    the same lessons getting learned over and over again.

    muppets!

  10. Dr.Fart MD

    and Varadkar adding that he hopes some of those contractors don’t get offered state contracts again. . . “hopes” .. rather than making sure they don’t. He says ‘hopes’ because he nor any other FG member would do any actual work to ensure they don’t get offered contracts again. They leave everything up to the private market, and if these contractors come back at a later date regarding a different project, it’s them who have the say, always is, that’s how FG run (dont run) things. So Varadkar can hope all he wants, but it won’t help the country.

    1. Cian

      What are the chances that if he were to blacklist them that they could sucessfully challenge it through the courts?

      Under EU law the procurement process has to be “fair” and a country can’t show favour to (or against) any company.

      1. SOQ

        Must admit I raised an eyebrow when I heard that. He is openly claiming there will be bias in future. He is an intelligent man but sometimes, he really needs to engage brain before mouth.

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