SIPTU members to vote on HSE proposal in Galway health workers dispute

SIPTU members working as social care workers and social care leaders in County Galway will vote on a proposal tabled by the HSE to resolve a dispute concerning the payment of monies owed to them for evening work.

SIPTU Organiser, Mark Lohan, said: “Social care workers and social care leaders working for Ability West and the Brothers of Charity Services in Galway have not received monies that the Labour Court ruled were owed to them as compensation for these organisations failure to honour so-called ‘twilight payment’ rates.

“The failure by management to honour the Labour Court ruling led to industrial action by workers. However, following intensive negotiations between SIPTU representatives and the HSE, management has presented a proposal which incudes an offer of three years back pay to the affected workers. This measure of justice is added to the union negotiated payment of the correct wages going forward since January 2015.”

He added: “SIPTU members turned up the heat in this dispute in recent weeks serving management with notice of strike action and highlighting the situation to Government TDs. These actions have resulted in a clear proposal from theemployer’s side. It is now up to the members to vote for acceptance or rejection in a ballot that will be conducted in the coming days.

“This dispute has been difficult for the workers. It has also been difficult and stressful for the families of service users and clients. However, SIPTU members ensured that those vulnerable clients were not adversely affected during the industrial action.

“SIPTU representatives have succeeded in the negotiations in ensuring the back pay settlement covers all care staff, in both companies, who work twilight shifts, and who have been historically denied the correct wages. The current proposal gives back as much as could be pried from the HSE and Department of Health, as precedent and statute also limits back pay claims.”

SIPTU calls on Minister to honour LRC proposal in Galway health workers dispute over unpaid wages

SIPTU members working as social care workers and social care leaders in County Galway have called on the Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, to honour a Labour Relations Commission (LRC) proposal in a dispute concerning the payment of monies owed to them for evening work.

SIPTU Organiser, Mark Lohan, said: “Social care workers and social care leaders elsewhere in the country have always been paid increased rates of pay for work between 8.00 p.m. and midnight.

However, social care workers and social care leaders working for Ability West and the Brothers of Charity Services in Galway have not received monies that the Labour Court ruled were owed to them as compensation for these organisations failure to honour so-called ‘twilight payment’ rates.”

He added: “Following discussions at the LRC during July, an agreement was reached on a plan to resolve the issue of the monies owed for unpaid ‘twilight payments’ to our members in the Galway area.

The HSE and Department of Health have not signed off on the LRC proposal, preventing SIPTU from presenting it to our members for ratification.

“Due to the position taken by the HSE and Department of Health our members were regrettably left with no option but to commence industrial action.

“The workers are now calling on the Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, to personally intervene so they are not forced to escalate their industrial action.

These workers want this dispute resolved as quickly as possible so they can maintain their full focus on their main priority which is providing the best standard of care possible for their clients.”

SIPTU calls for HSE intervention in staffing crisis in community units in Meath

SIPTU has called for senior Health Service Executive (HSE) officials to urgently intervene to resolve a staffing crisis at two community care units in County Meath which appears to have resulted in beds being left idle.
 
SIPTU Organiser, John McCamley, said: “This crisis began after the HSE refused to fill permanent nursing vacancies in St Joseph’s Hospital in Trim and Beaufort House in Navan a number of weeks ago. This crisis will compound the ongoing problems in local hospital emergency departments within the region.
 
“Presently, both units are understaffed to the equivalent of more than eight full-time staff nursing positions and one clinical nurse manager. There are a number of healthcare assistant posts which are also vacant. The situation has been made worse by the inability of local management to source adequate temporary agency cover.”
 
He added: “It is extraordinary and unacceptable that this situation has been allowed continue over the last number of weeks. It would seem that no senior officials in the HSE are willing to deal with it.
 
“Until the HSE properly resources and staffs community services, such as these units, hospital overcrowding will remain an acute problem. SIPTU has asked the HSE Head of Operations and Service Improvement for Older People, Michael Fitzgerald, to directly intervene in this situation. HSE management must reverse its decision not to fill these vacant posts and put emergency measures in place until new staff are recruited.”

The Lansdowne Road Proposals – Ballot Update

We are now half way through our national ballot on the Lansdowne Road Proposals.Turnout so far has been brisk and engagement with members encouraging.

Over the last number of weeks the SIPTU Health Division has held information meetings with members around the country. At these meetings any questions from members and shop stewards were answered.

View SIPTU shop stewards discussing the Landsdowne Road Proposals here

At members request we have complied a frequently asked questions document.

Members should understand that it is very important to secure a YES vote in order to begin the journey towards pay restoration and to make our members more secure in their employment.

Speaking to SIPTUhealth.ie Divisional Organiser Paul Bell said: “I am asking all members that have not yet cast their ballot to please contact their local organiser to find out when their next ballot is taking place and to use their vote.”

Alternatively, an office ballot will take place on the 4th floor, Health Division Office, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1 on the following dates:

Friday, 10th July 2015 – 10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m

Friday, 17th July 2015 – 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m

To download a poster outlining the reasons why SIPTU members should vote yes to the Lansdowne Road Proposals click here

If you would like a postal vote please click here

Investment in ambulance service critical to delivery of primary care

SIPTU has called on the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, to immediately release the capacity review into the National Ambulance Service.

Speaking today at the Labour Party Conference in Killarney, SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The creation of 50 paramedic positions in the West of Ireland is a step in the right direction.

“However, what is required is the publication of the capacity review of the National Ambulance Service.

“Our members are deeply concerned about the direction of the ambulance service and demanded a capacity review in February 2014. One year later we are still waiting.”

Paul Bell added: “If the National Ambulance Service is to function at the level that the HIQA is demanding, and the public and communities deserve, then the Government needs to seriously invest in recruitment and resources.

“The time has come for the Government to provide leadership and the public with confidence that the National Ambulance Service is safe, fully resourced and fit for purpose”