Thousands of healthcare assistants, chefs and support staff likely to back strike

Siptu to announce result of ballot for industrial action over pay issues on Friday

Siptu had initially announced that it would ballot about 7,000 health service staff, mainly healthcare assistants and laboratory assistants, for strike action arising from a job-evaluation process . However it later decided to expand this ballot to cover all support staff in 36 hospitals countrywide, including porters, security personnel and cleaners

Siptu had initially announced that it would ballot about 7,000 health service staff, mainly healthcare assistants and laboratory assistants, for strike action arising from a job-evaluation process . However it later decided to expand this ballot to cover all support staff in 36 hospitals countrywide, including porters, security personnel and cleaners

 

Thousands of healthcare assistants, hospital chefs and other health service support staff are expected to vote for strike action over pay issues in a ballot to be counted on Friday.

The union Siptu, which represents the personnel concerned, has previously forecast that the dispute could lead to strikes in hospitals later in the summer.

More than 7,000 healthcare assistants, health service support staff and chefs are seeking pay increases of about €21 million arising from separate processes carried out over recent times.

Siptu has said previously that an official review of the work of healthcare assistants under a job-evaluation scheme established under the 2015 Lansdowne Road public service agreement had found they had been underpaid for about a decade, and that they should receive a pay rise.

The union said the increases for the staff concerned ranged from €1,600 to €3,200 per year.

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell said last month at the announcement of the strike ballot that the union was seeking the Government to set a date for implementation of the pay rises.

He said about 1,000 chefs were seeking, following a separate process, to move on to a higher pay scale that was more appropriate to their duties. They had been waiting for movement on their increase since 2017.

All support staff

Siptu had initially announced that it would ballot about 7,000 health service staff, mainly healthcare assistants and laboratory assistants, for strike action arising from the job-evaluation process . However it later decided to expand this ballot to cover all support staff in 36 hospitals countrywide, including porters, security personnel and cleaners.

Mr Bell said the confidence of his members in the overall current public service agreement was “now severely undermined”. Siptu members in the health sector were “actively questioning its future”.

Siptu is to announce the result of the ballot at a rally of staff in Croke Park on Friday .

A dispute involving healthcare assistants, chefs and other support staff would plunge the country’s hospital services into chaos for a second time this year. Tens of thousands of patients had appointments cancelled in late January and February on foot of a strike by about 40,000 nurses over pay and recruitment/retention issues.

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) earlier this month voted to accept settlement proposals brokered at the Labour Court.