What Will Be Affected

 

THE PLANNED public service strike today will significantly disrupt services across a range of areas including health, education, local authorities, the courts and public administration. However, commercial State companies such as those in the transport area will not be hit.

CIVIL SERVICE

  • A majority of staff is expected to take part, with contingency cover in areas such as the Irish Coast Guard or Met Éireann.
  • Limited customs service at airports and ports.
  • Court sittings cancelled except in emergency cases.
  • Prison officers will strike for an hour at different times between 9am and 11am. They will also strike for an hour from 2pm. During the action, prisoners will be locked in their cells.
  • The Defence Forces will be on duty at the entrances to Leinster House at Kildare Street and Merrion Street. The building will remain open with a skeleton staff because the Dáil is sitting, but some operations of the Dáil will be curtailed.
  • The Seanad and the Oireachtas committees will not sit.
  • No public offices or phone services, such as those operated by the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social and Family Affairs or the Passport Office, will be operational.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

  • The majority of staff are expected to take part in the strike.
  • Minimum emergency/essential cover will be provided in relation to fire and water services.
  • Staff in five local authority areas which have been the worst hit by floods will work.
  • Local authority offices will be closed to the public.

HEALTH SERVICE

  • There will be a “Christmas Day level” of cover in hospitals. The HSE is advising the public not to present to emergency departments unless it is a genuine emergency.
  • More than 16,000 will face having hospital appointments or procedures deferred.
  • All non-emergency hospital procedures are cancelled.
  • All outpatient clinics scheduled for today are postponed.
  • Emergency departments and ambulance services will operate a limited service.
  • HSE swine flu vaccination clinics will be closed.
  • Voluntary intellectual disability services, care of the elderly services, home help and palliative care services have been exempted from the strike.
  • Hospital services such as intensive care, burns units, dialysis, oncology units, neurosurgery and maternity have also been excluded from the scope of the industrial strike.
  • Public health nurses will provide a weekend level of cover.
  • Mental health nurses will provide emergency cover.

GARDAÍ

  • All services provided by sworn gardaí will operate as normal.
  • Certain services provided by civilian support staff will be reduced or will be provided by gardaí.
  • Gardaí may not issue penalty point or fixed charge notices to motorists.

SOCIAL WELFARE

  • Payment to some 55,000 social welfare customers due to collect their weekly payment today will be delayed to tomorrow.
  • Department of Social and Family Affairs offices will be closed to the public.
  • People due to sign on for jobseeker’s benefit or jobseeker’s allowance at social welfare local offices or branch offices will not now be required to do so.
  • 35,000 customers on short- term schemes and whose weekly payment is due to be paid into their bank tomorrow will experience a delay of one day. Categories affected are maternity benefit, illness benefit, a small number of jobseeker payments and supplementary welfare payment.
  • Customers paid by social services card through their post office are not expected to be affected.
  • A further 20,000 customers who are getting a payment by cheque for illness benefit, supplementary welfare payment, maternity benefit and a small number of jobseekers are also going to be delayed by one day. Compiled by Martin Wall

SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

  • Primary and post-primary schools will close as more than 50,000 teachers take strike action. Severe disruption is expected across the third-level sector. Students are advised to check the college website for the latest information.
  • Staff at DCU and the University of Limerick voted against strike action so these colleges should be open as normal.
  • UCD will be open although some disruption is expected.
  • TCD is also warning of disruption to services. It says several categories of staff will be absent by choice from work that day as a result of direction from their various unions.
  • “Reluctantly, the college has asked that lectures and laboratory sessions scheduled for November 24th be rescheduled to a later suitable date. All other academic activities will continue.”
  • Most colleges – especially those in the institute of technology sector – will close as a majority of union members voted for strike action. Lectures and laboratory work in many institutes have already been suspended.
  • Irish Federation of University Teachers general secretary Mike Jennings said he expected a “virtual shutdown” of most third- level colleges today. However, UCC will be exempt from industrial action because of efforts to clean up after the flooding.
  • Both the TUI and the ASTI will picket schools from early this morning.
  • INTO members will picket Department of Education offices in 13 locations.

Compiled by Seán Flynn, Education Editor