SIPTU Health representatives have today (Saturday, 2nd January) called on the management of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to guarantee proper supports are immediately put in place to assist health workers with childcare commitments reporting for work when schools and pre-school services are closed across the country next week.
SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “The decision to keep schools and pre-school services closed until Monday 11th January has created considerable uncertainty for workers and poses a significant challenge for our members working on the frontline of our hospitals, nursing homes and communities.
“As we enter the next critical phase of the pandemic and with transmission rates soaring, it is essential that the health service has all hands on deck.
Over the last number of days, SIPTU Health representatives have worked with colleagues on the staff panel of unions to get a guarantee from the health service employers that arrangements are put in place to make sure all health workers with childcare commitments are fully supported in the weeks ahead.”
He added: “From the very start of this pandemic and through each lockdown health care workers have made every effort to have childcare arrangements in place enabling them to keep our health service going. The reality is that the decision to close these facilities has far reaching consequences for working parents in the health service. The employer has an obligation to make sure that this essential workforce can get to work and make sure our health service can cope with any potential surge in hospital admissions next week.”