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Wednesday's planned strike by 10,000 healthcare workers to go ahead after talks fail

Siptu has accused the government of abusing the conciliation process.

SIPTU HAS SAID that around 10,000 healthcare support workers are set to go on strike this Wednesday, after talks to try to avert the industrial action at the Workplace Relations Commission failed.

The first planned strike last week had been postponed pending these talks.

The trade union’s health divisional organiser Paul Bell said: ““Siptu would prefer a negotiated settlement that does not impact on patient services. Unfortunately, we have run out of time and too many issues remain unresolved.

Siptu members have acted in good faith at all times during this dispute including by deferring two days of strike action. We believe that the government has abused the conciliation process and never meaningfully engaged with Siptu representatives.

Bell added: “A 24 hour strike, involving up to 10,000 support staff, will go ahead from 8.00 a.m on Wednesday (26 June) as our members continue to pursue their legitimate claim for recognition, respect and pay justice.”

The issue centres around a dispute between workers and the HSE over what Siptu says is its failure to implement increases in pay for Siptu members arising from a job evaluation scheme. 

The workers affected include those in portering, household and catering services as well as employed as health care assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians.

In a statement this evening, the HSE said that it regrets the industrial action taken by Siptu and added it will affect patient and client services.

“As was the case last week, the industrial action is planned to take place at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities, and will involve a significant number of staff who make an essential contribution to the effective running of our health services every day,” it said.

Patients are being contacted by their local hospital or healthcare facility in the event that their scheduled procedure or service will be affected by the dispute. While every effort will be made to minimise impact on patients, industrial action involving these essential staff will have a significant impact on services.

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Sean Murray

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