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Strike by 10,000 healthcare workers to go ahead this Thursday

A 24 hour strike by healthcare workers will be held after talks at the Workplace Relations Commission ended without agreement.

Image: Shutterstock/Hadrian

Updated Jun 17th 2019, 7:09 PM

THURSDAY’S STRIKE BY HSE support staff will go ahead after talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ended without agreement. 

Concerns had earlier been raised that patients will be used as pawns in the ongoing dispute between Siptu and the health service. This evening a Siptu spokesperson confirmed that Thursday’s strike will go ahead. 

At the start of the month, Siptu served a notice of a 24 hour strike by 10,000 healthcare workers to be held on Thursday at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities around the country.  

The industrial action will involve Siptu members working in portering, household and catering services as well as employed as health care assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians.

When initial talks adjourned last Thursday, Siptu health divisional organiser Paul Bell said that representatives “entered talks today with the employer with no great expectations, so we leave this evening feeling no great disappointment”. 

Talks resumed this afternoon at the WRC, aimed at averting Thursday’s planned strike action. 

The Irish Patients Association has said its main concern was “that patients are not used as pawns in any industrial dispute”. 

In the end, these matters are resolved – we just don’t want patients lives at risk.

CEO Stephen McMahon told TheJournal.ie that it is “vital” that contingency plans that will be in place to mitigate the impact of the potential strike be published.

According to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the HSE is continuing to prepare contingency plans ahead of Thursday’s strike action.

Siptu Health Division spokesperson, Paul Bell, said: “The strike this Thursday will go ahead and regrettably it is likely to have serious consequences for the delivery of patient services.”

He said: “A claim by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to the effect that there was no commitment to pay additional money on foot of the job evaluation scheme is patently inaccurate. 

“Siptu members will find it extremely difficult to accept another national agreement such as the Public Service Stability Agreement unless this current agreement is honoured in full.”

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the HSE earlier said it would “continue to strive, in as far as is possible, to have this industrial action averted and to ensure the impact of any action is minimised in respect of people who use our services.”

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Adam Daly

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