Industrial action could affect 40 hospitals, including Sligo
Proposed industrial action by health services support staff could affect 40
hospitals across the country, including Sligo University Hospital, the trade
union Siptu has said.
Siptu plans to ballot healthcare assistants, radiographers, home helps and
other grades on a variety of pay issues in a fortnight.
According to The Irish Times the union is seeking access for up to 12,000
home helps and healthcare assistants to a job evaluation scheme and believes the
outcome of this process will result in many staff being paid more.
Under such job evaluations, if a person’s role, workload or responsibility
is found to have expanded, they could qualify for an upgrade involving a pay
rise. However it is understood the Government is concerned the move could have
significant financial implications.
Siptu members who work in hospital emergency departments are also seeking
similar concessions to those obtained last year by the Irish Nurses and
Midwives Organisation after it threatened industrial action. These included
promotions, additional leave and a €1,500 education bursary.
The ballot of support staff is due to start on January 23rd and Siptu at the weekend set out details of the hospitals and health facilities concerned.
Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell said: “The failure of the HSE and
Department of Health to resolve a number of issues has led to a situation where
our members have been forced to contemplate strike action.
“These issues include a failure by management to adhere to the fully
binding provisions of the Lansdowne Road agreement and Haddington Road
agreement. The most crucial elements that have not be adhered to include to
reintroduce a job evaluation scheme, to pay interns or apply incremental credit
and double time payments.
“The other central issue in this dispute involves the granting of
concessions by the HSE and the Department of Health to nurses working in
emergency departments, which have not been extended to other workers.”
Mr Bell said there was ample time before the scheduled ballot on January
23rd for the HSE and Department of Health “to address all the outstanding
issues of concern for our members, something they have failed to do over the
preceding 15 months”.
It is understood that in a letter to Siptu last week the Minister for
Health Simon Harris called for dialogue to resolve the outstanding issues.
Siptu said this week, however, that this had not “ led to any genuine
action by either the HSE or Department of Health”.
The hospitals and health facilities where Siptu support staff members will be balloted are:
Connolly Hospital, Dublin
Central Mental Hospital, Dublin
Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin
Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin
National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin
Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, Dublin
Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Dublin
Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dublin
Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin
Killarney Community Hospital, Kerry
Tallaght Hospital, Dublin
Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
St James’s Hospital, Dublin
Mater Hospital, Dublin
St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin
Cavan General Hospital
Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar
Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise
Dublin Dental University Hospital, Dublin
Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Dublin
St Ita’s Hospital, Portrane, Dublin
South Tipperary General Hospital
St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny
Wexford General Hospital
Cork University Hospital
Cork University Maternity Hospital
Bantry General Hospital
Mercy University Hospital, Cork
University Hospital Kerry
Letterkenny University Hospital
Sligo University Hospital
University Hospital Limerick
University Hospital Galway
Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway
Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore
Naas General Hospital
St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda
Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan
Louth County Hospital, Dundalk