Medical scientists on strike outside St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin Leah Farrell

Medical scientists to take two more days of industrial action this week

A further three days are planned if progress isn’t made this week.

MEDICAL SCIENTISTS WILL picket and refuse to do laboratory work tomorrow and Wednesday, following one day of action last week.

The strike will again involve the withdrawal of routine laboratory services from 8AM to 8PM on both days, affecting routine hospital and GP services across the country.

 A representative body for medical scientists has said that further action will take place on 31 May, 1 June and 2 June, if no further progress is made.

Members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA), voted on whether to take industrial action over unfilled posts, pay parity and career pathway issues, with over 98% of ballots being cast in favour.

The MLSA has 2,100 members and the vast majority will be on picket lines this week, at all public voluntary and HSE hospitals and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, which will join the pickets for the first time.

Outlining the reasons for the strike the MLSA stated that its members are paid on average 8% less than colleagues who do similar work, as well as facing a lack of career progression opportunities, training supports and continuous education supports.

The union said that no approach had been made by the HSE or Department of Health to the MLSA since last week’s stoppage, and it claimed that this was despite comments from HSE representatives which implied that talks were ongoing.

MLSA General Secretary Terry Casey said the union is this week continuing to seek meaningful talks with the HSE and Department of Health.

“Since last week’s action neither the HSE nor the Department of Health have come to us with a meaningful proposal or invitation to talks that could address the issues involved. It because of this that Members throughout the country are stepping up the action.

“The MLSA’s claim for parity with clinical biochemist colleagues dates back to 2001 when an Expert Group Report recommended pay parity between the grades. The then awarded pay parity was lost within months as a result of procedural error in the public service benchmarking awards in June 2002. 

“In January 2020, against a backdrop of a severe and worsening staffing crisis, the MLSA renewed this longstanding claim for parity of pay and career progression. More than two years on, and after many rounds of proposals and talks, these issues have not been resolved and there is now an even more significant shortage of Medical Scientists, affecting all regions of the country.”

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