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Staff in six of Dublin's major hospitals vote for strike action

The pay and roster dispute involves hospital porters, catering operatives, laboratory assistants and CSSD Technicians.

St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.
St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

OVER 1,500 SIPTU members have voted in favour of strike action at six of Dublin’s major hospitals.

Support staff at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Beaumont, the Mater, Tallaght, St Luke’s hospitals and the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street voted in favour of protective strike action over a row about rosters and pay.

The staff involved in the dispute are porters, catering operatives, laboratory assistants and CSSD Technicians. The trade union claims that following the unilateral decision by the hospital management to change their working patterns, the decision to strike was agreed by the majority.

Pay and rosters

SIPTU Health Division organiser, Paul Bell, states that workers will resist “any further attempt by management to cut our member’s pay by removing them from rosters during unsocial hours and weekends and replacing them with interns”.

He states that the union has informed the HSE and hospital management that under the Croke Park and Haddington Road agreements, there are provisions which protect the earnings of low paid workers in the health service, who he claims have already suffered reductions in pay through roster changes and in cuts to overtime rates and payments for unsocial hours.

“It is remarkable that at a time when senior managers in some voluntary hospitals have had “top up” payments to their salaries ring-fenced and also when the HSE and the Government have seen fit to award pay increases to the highest paid medical workers in the state’s health service that it is the lowest paid who are expected to take further hits to their take home pay. That it is simply unacceptable,” said Bell.

The strike will only occur should any attempt be made to unilaterally remove SIPTU members from rosters or in any way reduce their pay, said the union.

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