08/26/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole

App CPD Offer

SIPTU in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland is now offering our members the opportunity to undertake the following short interdisciplinary Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses.


  • Safeguarding the Vulnerable Adult at Risk of Abuse – Click here
  • Leadership-in-Action – Click here
  • Regulatory Standards in Healthcare – Click here
  • Maintaining Professional Competence (Online)
  • Strategic Management in Action – Click here
  • Understand the Factors Influencing Safety and Quality in Healthcare – Click here
  • CPD Planning/Maintaining a Portfolio – Click here
  • Leadership Development and Succession Planning – Click here

* All courses are accredited by the RSCI and the NMBI

SIPTU Health Division members can receive of a special introductory offer of €50 per course by emailing ask@siptuhealth.ie

To book a course fill in the box below.

The first 100 applicants will enter a draw to win a new iPad mini.


08/10/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole

SIPTU call on Minister Harris to intervene in Section 39 pay dispute

SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 10th August) called for a face-to-face meeting with  Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to discuss breaking the deadlock concerning pay restoration for thousands of Section 39 Organisation workers providing vital health services.

The call was made by workers as they conducted a lunchtime demonstration outside the Department of Health on Miesian Plaza, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, ahead of a scheduled one-day national strike on Tuesday, 18th September.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The countdown is on for a major strike by Section 39 Organisation workers across the country. We have 39 days left for the Minister to intervene, to break the deadlock and insist his Government honours the commitments made on the floor of the Dáil that Section 39 workers would receive pay justice in 2018.

“An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, himself even acknowledges that Section 39 Organisation workers are entitled to pay restoration by way of an established pay link with public sector health service workers. However, the Government is continuing to sit on its hands, hoping this dispute will go away. It will not.

“The fact is our members have in excess of ten Labour Court recommendations in their favour confirming that pay restoration should apply to them in line with their counterparts in the public service. Our members are determined to see these recommendations honoured in full across the sector.”

He added: “To date Section 39 employers have been happy to put their heads in the sand while our union does all the heavy lifting on securing funding from Government so workers can achieve pay restoration. Our members believe that they are working much harder than their employers, the Health Service Executive and Department of Health to avoid a strike. It’s time for the decision makers to shoulder some responsibility or face the consequences of a strike in September.”

07/22/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole

Leadership Development and Succession Planning

Thursday 6th December 2018

Leadership Development and Succession Planning

Ms Linda Coughlan

Programme Summary:

This programme provides participants with the knowledge to understand the current challenges facing the Irish healthcare system. The content will focus on how factors such as workforce planning, leadership style, leadership competencies, leadership development and succession planning can contribute to the resolution of key challenges, while exploring these factors in the context of the quality imperative and patient safety.


Programme Aims:

  1. To provide participants with up-to-date, evidenced based knowledge to critically develop nurses’ theoretical and practical understanding of the leadership skills required for the future of the health care system.
  2. To support participants in enhancing their confidence, skills and competences, with regard to the critical understanding and application of their leadership skills.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the programme, participants should be able to:

  1. Develop a critical understanding of current leadership challenges in Healthcare
  2. Critically discuss possible solutions to these challenges
  3. Critically evaluate leadership styles and their application in healthcare
  4. Develop a critical understanding of the role of leadership in quality healthcare systems
  5. Critically evaluate the development of leaders for the future

Apply here

06/27/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole

SIPTU suspends planned industrial action at St Luke’s General Hospital

SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 27th June) confirmed that members working as psychiatric nurses at St Luke’s General Hospital in county Kilkenny have suspended planned industrial action.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Marie Butler, said: “Our members’ decision to suspend their industrial action follows a firm commitment by management to put in place a sustainable plan to end the ongoing overcrowding crisis in the Department of Psychiatry. This plan includes our members’ proposal to establish a working group to review and to enhance the bed management role in the Department of Psychiatry.

“This a significant win for our members who strongly believe that the role of bed management is key to resolving the overcrowding crisis.”

She added: “Our members, and those they care for, will benefit greatly from this result as professional care should always be given in a safe and calm environment.”

06/24/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole

SIPTU secure review of available ambulance capacity in the Leitrim area.

SIPTU Division Organiser, Paul Bell today (Sunday, 24th June) confirmed on foot of SIPTU representations that the National Ambulance Service (NAS)will meet with Dr Sean Bourke who highlighted local concerns on response times in Ballinamore and Carrick-on-Shannon.

The NAS has also confirmed to SIPTU representatives that management will conduct a local review of available ambulance capacity in the Leitrim area.

06/17/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole

Wasting Money on Savings We Already Have

The Government is planning to introduce a Rainy Day fund – a fund to be used when the economy starts to slow down or enters a slump.  This sounds very prudent, very far-sighted.  For instance, it makes good sense for a household to put aside some savings in the case of emergency expenditure (that’s if people have the ability to generate such savings; we know that so many don’t).

The Government will fund this via two sources.  First, it is going to take €1.5 billion from the Strategic Investment Fund (which is, essentially, the successor to the National Pension Reserve Fund which was emptied out to invest in the banks).  Second, the Government is going to take €500 million out of each annual budget for the foreseeable future.

There are two issues here.

First, we already have rainy day funds – a considerable amount in fact.  There’s the Strategic Investment Fund itself which has nearly €20 billion.   Nearly half of that is ‘invested’ in the banks and so can’t be accessed easily in the case of an emergency.  However, we have €8.5 billion in what is called the ‘discretionary’ portfolio.  Not all of this may be easily accessible but there are over €3 billion in stocks, bonds and cash.

There’s another source of funding:   the Government’s cash balances.  This is the money the Government (through the National Treasury Management Agency) keeps in cash and other short-term investments.  In October 2017, the Government had nearly €15 billion.  This rose to over €20 billion by April 2018.  Not all this money is accessible in the case of an emergency.  The Government needs to keep a healthy balance for cash-flow purposes and to refinance debt.  Still, there are considerable funds already in place to help us out in an emergency.

In short, between the ISIF and the Government’s cash balances, we already have a rainy day fund, even if it’s not called that.  The Government’s proposal appears to be just a costly duplication.

The second problem is that the Government’s proposal may not actually be a rainy day fund.  The Parliamentary Budget Office had this to say about the Department of Finance’s consultation paper:

‘ . . . the Department of Finance uses inconsistent terminology. Rainy day fund and contingency fund are used interchangeably which makes the specific proposals difficult to analyse. In particular, the paper repeatedly refers to rainy day funds. In the context of government finances, a rainy day fund generally refers to money set aside during times of budgetary surpluses to fund future deficits. However, the consultation paper seems to conflate this with a fund to meet unexpected expenditure for one-off events. These are more usually referred to as contingency funds.’

So which is it?  Money set aside to fund future deficits (such as during a recession when tax revenue falls)?  Or money set aside to meet unexpected expenditure (such as a natural disaster like flooding)?  We will have to wait and see but it is not a particularly helpful way to conduct a debate, especially as the Government aims to build up the fund to €8 billion over time.

The Parliamentary Budget Office also suggested the Government’s rainy day fund might be wasteful:

‘Holding cash in this manner (i.e. a rainy day fund) has a high opportunity cost as the funds being held in the fund could be used to invest in means to boost productivity and improve the quality of life of citizens.’

Despite the economy needing more housing, healthcare funding, and crucial investment such as high-speed broadband or public transport – the Government intends to withhold half a billion Euros a year from the budget.  That means less spending on these crucial areas.  This makes no sense given that we already have rainy day funds.

A better approach would start with abandoning the rainy day fund in the short-term, thus freeing up €500 million a year.  This would, first, require the Government developing a long-term strategy of ring-fencing funds in the ISIF and it’s own cash balances that could be utilised in the case of an emergency.

Second, the €500 million should be assigned to investment projects in order to, as the Parliamentary Budget Office puts it, ‘boost productivity’ and ‘improve the quality of life’.  We may have different priorities but my own preference would be to build houses. High rents and property prices are a drain on the productive economy while depressing workers’ life quality.

Third, the Government should plan for unexpected expenditures.  This, of course, can be difficult; after all, they’re unexpected.   But we can anticipate some – even if we can’t anticipate when.  For instance, with erratic weather arising from climate change, the risk of flooding will increase.  Therefore, the Government could anticipate this with increased flood defences.

There’s no reason to set up a rainy day fund – we already have the funds.  What we need is economic and social investment.  We need to ensure that when the next downturn comes (and it will come – that’s what market economies do:  rise and fall like a roller-coaster ride), the economy is strong enough to see us through with minimal social damage.

If we sacrifice vital investment in order to accumulate savings which we already have, then the next downturn will be even worse and will require us to spend even more repair money on the other side.  And the €500 million?  It will disappear into mounting deficits.

What at first sounds prudent can turn out to be reckless and wasteful.

And who can afford that?

This article was written by SIPTU Researcher, Michael Taft.

You can read more here

05/28/2018 Comments are off Patrick Cole


Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) is committed to protecting and securing all of your personal information.

This Privacy statement is designed to ensure you are aware of the information we process about you including your rights in relation to it.

Who we are?
The data controller is SIPTU, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1
Contact: Data Protection Officer, SIPTU, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1. Email:dataprotection@siptu.ie

Purpose of Data Collection and Processing

As a general trade union we are member focused. To serve the members of the union we collect and process data for purposes including:

  • To register you as a SIPTU member
  • To meet the Objects and Rules of SIPTU
  • To contact you about membership and trade union activities
  • To represent you in individual and collective issues
  • To provide membership services and benefits
  • To comply with our legal obligations

Legal basis for processing your data

We rely on various legal bases for processing your personal data which include:

  • Performance of our membership contract with you
  • Compliance with our legal obligations
  • In our legitimate interest
  • Where you provide consent


How we share your personal data
We are committed to protecting and securing your personal data and we aim to ensure that all third-party providers are compliant with legislation and do not use your data for their own purposes unless they are controllers in their own right.

We may share your personal data from time to time with trusted third-party providers where required for business, legal and regulatory purposes.

With your consent we may share your personal data from time to time with professional and legal bodies in the interest of representing you.


Retention and deletion
We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purpose(s) for which it was collected, taking into account all legal and contractual obligations. Where possible we will identify the duration for retention and, where this is not possible, we will explain the criteria for determining retention periods.

Once the retention period has concluded we shall safely and securely delete or destroy all personal data.

Your rights
You have the following rights and entitlements with regard to your personal data held by us:

  • To enquire if we hold personal data on you and to access copies of that data
  • To request rectification of personal data we hold on you
  • To request erasure or restriction of processing of your personal data
  • To withdraw consent at any time free of charge where we process your personal data based solely on your consent
  • To have a copy of relevant personal data or request it is transferred to another data controller, where it is possible to do so
  • To lodge a complaint in respect of processing of your personal data with the Data Protection Commissioners Office

We will aim to meet your requests and requirements relating to your rights, where possible. Requests should be directed in writing to the Data Protection Officer.

Requests under any of your rights will be free of charge where they are reasonable and not excessive. We reserve the right to request clarity in relation to determining the data under request, including to request proof of identity and signed authorisation in the case of third party requests. Furthermore, we reserve the right to refuse to comply where legal obligations restrict us from doing so and where requests are unreasonable or excessive.

Failure to provide personal data
We collect personal data to ensure we can represent our diverse member base in its entirety and to fulfil our responsibilities to our members within the Rules of the Union. Failure to provide us with the required personal data, on request, may limit our ability to represent you.

We rely on you to ensure the data we hold is accurate and up to date by communicating to us any changes to your personal information. Such updates can be made by contacting retention@siptu.ie

Profiling and automated decision making
We do not use profiling or automated decision making on any of the personal data we hold.


Transmission to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
We may transfer your personal data to service providers outside the EEA. In such cases, we will ensure the data is carefully managed in accordance with applicable data protection law.

Updates and further processing
We will make changes to this notice from time to time. Any such changes can be viewed on our website at www.siptu.ie/privacystatement

We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which it was provided. If we need to use your personal data for alternative purposes, we will notify you and explain our legal basis for doing so.

05/11/2018 Comments are off SIPTU

SIPTU representatives demand action to bring all critical health screening services home

SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 11th May) repeated their call to halt the privatisation of critical health services and demanded that the Government starts a process of bringing all health screening services home to Ireland.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Firstly, our members, like the rest of the public, are rightly outraged by the CervicalCheck scandal. Our hearts and solidarity go out to Vicky Phelan, Emma Mhic Mhatúna and the other women and their families touched by this tragedy. The resignation of one man won’t cure all the ills facing the health service but it does give us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the danger of outsourcing essential health services.”

“The tragic circumstances facing these women and their families is the net result of a drive to commodify our health service. We have an intolerable situation where shareholders and profits have been prioritised over patients and lives. Patients and citizens are being treated as customers and clients. It is time for the people who made these decisions to come clean and start the process of bringing all health screening services home to Ireland. The public monies being used to offshore these services should be put to better use and ringfenced into the Capital Investment Plan. That would allow for the necessary funds to be made available to purchase the facilities and equipment needed to provide these services at home.”

He added: “SIPTU representatives have always opposed outsourcing, not just because it is in breach of public service agreements and removes decent directly employed workers from the health service but also because of the concerns our members have surrounding the governance and oversight offered to patients. The CervicalCheck scandal is proof of that and only serves to reinforce the need to move to a publicly controlled and universally accessible single-tier national health service.”

“Instead, health employers claim they have no choice but to outsource essential health services. Our members in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital are preparing for strike action in protest at management proposals to outsource the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD). It is proven the world over, that once a service is outsourced that there is little control over it and even less accountability until it’s too late that is. Patients deserve better.”

Section 39 Pay Justice Campaign Countdown

Agreement at a glance

INDEPENDENT assessment and analysis of pay data submitted by Section 39 Organisations to report by 31st March 2018.Link between Section 39 workers and HSE workers RECOGNISED
Pay Restoration implementation group ESTABLISHED
RESTORATION to commence on a phased basis this year.
VIABLE process to restore the pay of thousands of Section 39 workers SECURED
STRIKE ACTION not cancelled but deferred for six weeks to allow time for assessment and analysis report to be produced.
The campaign to ORGANISE Section 39 workers continues to ensure PAY JUSTICE for all! Join SIPTU today! 

Download a workplace leaflet here

02/27/2018 Comments are off SIPTU

Red Alert Warnings/Storm Ophelia

Following Storm Ophelia, SIPTU representatives submitted a claim to recognise the work of all staff who were in a position to report for duty during the height of the storm on 16th October 2017.

In this regard, the Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed today (Tuesday, 27th February) that all SIPTU Health members who attended for work on the 16th October 2017 should have the time credited to them. The timing of taking this leave should be agreed locally.

The HSE has also confirmed in this circular that:

“where such an event occurs in the future, where for health and safety reasons some employees are unable to attend for duty; those affected can be granted annual leave from their allocation, for the hours they were scheduled to work. If the employee has no annual leave remaining, they may use leave from their next leave cycle, and have their allocation adjusted accordingly.”

SIPTU representatives are seeking a meeting with the HSE to resolve any outstanding matters.