04/06/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Have your say. IARC elections

SIPTU Ambulance Sector members are in the process of electing Irish Ambulance Represent Council (IARC) representatives in the following areas: 

  • Midlands
  • North East
  • South East
  • North West

SIPTU will write to members in these areas informing them of the candidates and the closing date for returning their ballot papers from Wednesday 8th June.  

We are encouraging all members in these areas need to ensure their home address is up to date with SIPTU so they can receive their postal ballot. Due to Covid-19 ballots will be conducted by postal ballot.

Members can update their details online here

02/06/2021 Comments are off AideenC

SIPTU members update – Vaccination Rollout

SIPTU Health representatives attended a meeting with national vaccination team this afternoon (Wednesday, 2nd June)
The following update was received:

  • HSE representatives advised the challenges from the recent cyber-attack remain and that inter-department communication within the health service remains a challenge. SIPTU representatives were advised it may take some time for systems to be returned to pre-attack norms.
  • Unions raised recent concerns regarding the vaccination of health care workers (HCWs) given the plan to proceed with 2nd dose of AstraZeneca.
  • Union representatives were advised the current guidance from NIAC has not changed and HCWs are recommended to take their 2nd dose of AstraZeneca vaccine when called. It was confirmed the recent concerns raised are with NIAC for review and response. The HSE confirmed every effort will be made to assure HCWs on the safety of taking the vaccine being offered to them.
  • Union representatives were advised the immediate focus is to complete the second dose vaccination of HCWs over the coming days and weekend.
  • Concerns were raised if all vaccination centres have been advised of the reduction in the dose period from 16-12 weeks. The HSE confirmed this clarification will be advised to all sites.
  • Unions raised the issue of new employees registering for vaccination given the ‘special email addresses’ set out by each area are compromised by the cyber-attack. The HSE confirmed it is looking at alternatives and will confirm when finalised.
  • Unions were advised the centres are completing the over 50’s currently and then start the 49-45 category. 44-40 are allowed to register on the portal from this week.
  • Unions asked for clarification when the recent decision of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), for children aged 15-12 to be vaccinated with Pfizer, will be implemented in Ireland and if this will require a reshuffle of Cohorts 4 & 7 (Medical vulnerable) to accommodate children comprehended by this definition. The HSE advised it is seeking guidance on the matter and will revert on this matter

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25/05/2021 Comments are off AideenC

SIPTU members update: HSE pay

SIPTU Health representatives attended a meeting with national Health Service Executive (HSE) officials this afternoon (Tuesday, 25th May) regarding HSE Pay. 
The following update was received:

  • HSE representatives advised union representatives that normal payroll will proceed in the main for this week, including the payment of pensions.
  • SIPTU representatives were advised that significant work was undertaken to achieve this as full data entry/input was required as existing files were not accessible due to the recent attack.
  • We understand some isolated issues may arise and, if so, staff members should raise these issues locally in the first instance.
  • Union representatives were advised a separate system applies in Portiuncula Hospital and a previous bank file is being used for the purpose of paying staff in the week ahead.
  • We understand challenges relating to payroll may continue for the next number of weeks given the need to manually input data into the central pay system.
  • The HSE and Union representatives have agreed to maintain a weekly briefing to confirm arrangements for pay which will apply for the next pay period.
  • SIPTU representatives were informed deductions are being made from pay, however, the payment of these deductions to third parties, such as insurance providers or credit unions, is not possible due to the shutting down of the IT system.
  • We understand that third parties are being informed deductions are being made from payroll as normal and will be passed on as soon as the IT system is reopened.
  • We were advised that the HSE is in direct contact with Revenue as they are not able to upload payments deducted for the purpose of income tax until the IT system reopens.
  • Union representatives requested an update regarding the payment of Mileage & Subsistence. We were informed a standardised system for these payments is not in place and there may be issues in some areas, while not in others. We requested an update and this was committed to by the HSE.

Unions again sought clarification of the extent of personal information of staff, held by the HSE as the employer, which may have been compromised by the cyber-attack. This includes whether personal financial information of staff held by the HSE has been breached by the attack. The HSE stated they had not received confirmation that personal staff information had been breached and committed to seeking clarification on this matter. The HSE stated they would seek clarification of the extent, if any, staff personal information was breached by the recent attack and would revert to the unions as soon as possible. 

24/05/2021 Comments are off AideenC

SIPTU welcomes extension of vaccinator role to radiographers and radiation therapists

SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 24th May) welcomed confirmation from the Department of Health that radiographers, radiation therapists and other certain student health workers can apply to be vaccinators as part of the National Covid-19 vaccination programme.  

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “For months, intensive efforts were made by SIPTU representatives to ensure our members who are qualified were afforded the opportunity to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The original statutory instrument provided for nursing, medical practitioners and some other health professionals to apply to be vaccinators. Our members then campaigned for the inclusion of radiographers, radiation therapists and certain student grades to be included in any revised statutory instrument.” 

He added: “Our members argued that widening the eligibility of vaccinators, especially as more vaccines become available, is crucial for getting the country back up and running. We believe that the more vaccinators that can be trained up and put to work the quicker our health service and our society can regroup and recover.”

19/05/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Important update: HSE pay

SIPTU Health representatives attended a meeting with national Health Service Executive (HSE) officials this afternoon (Wednesday, 19th May) regarding HSE Pay. 

The following update was received:

  • The HSE confirmed staff will be paid on their normal pay day this week.
  • The HSE is making final arrangements to pay staff this week for hours worked. This includes basic salary, premiums and overtime. SIPTU representatives understand most SAP areas have concluded this work and the final areas are due in shortly. 
  • Unions were advised payroll has worked throughout the night to replicate the pay run so that staff can be paid as normal this week.
  • The HSE advised challenges are arising for next week and options are being considered to address this. This includes options such as 1) as per arrangements for this week, i.e. pay staff for hours worked or 2) replicate the last pay run which may result in some variance for premiums or overtime. The HSE committed to a further meeting early next week to update on the arrangements for pay which will apply for week beginning 24th May.
  • If there are discrepancies in pay received, members are advised to contact their local salary office in the first instance.
  • Normal deductions will be taken from pay such as pension, income tax etc
  • Pay will be paid as per normal means i.e. into bank directly or by cheque if that is the pre-existing arrangement.
  • Delivery of payslips is still being considered and to be clarified.
  • New Staff: HSE committed to getting new staff set up on system and paid as normal.
  • Section 38 Organisations: Unions were advised some Section 38 Organisations will have their own pay roll and will not be affected. Some Section 38 Organisations may use the Health Service Executive system and will therefore be encompassed by this update.

SIPTU representatives sought clarification of the extent of personal information of staff held by the HSE, as the employer, which may be compromised by the cyber-attack. This includes whether personal financial information of staff held by the HSE has been breached by the attack. 

The HSE committed to seeking clarification on this matter and reverting to the unions as soon as possible. 

18/05/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Update on HSE Payroll

SIPTU representatives today (Tuesday, 18th May) received the following clarification from Health Service Executive (HSE) management over concerns regarding any possible impact on pay during the ongoing cyber-attack crisis. 

Statement from HSE: 

“We want to assure staff that a payroll will proceed this week, and this is a key priority. While issues may arise, we are continuing to work on contingency measures in the event they are necessary. This could result in some variations between what staff are due to be paid and what they actually receive.  We will rectify discrepancies in the coming weeks. We understand that this is challenging for staff and ask for patience as we work through any potential impact to our payroll processes. A further update will be provided tomorrow.”

We will keep all SIPTU Health members informed of any further developments.

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28/04/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Vaccination for frontline health workers update

A Health Service Executive (HSE) Communication issued today (Wednesday, 28th February) on the vaccination for frontline healthcare workers who are new employees or have not yet been vaccinated.
The communication confirms:

  • Covid-19 vaccines are available to all newly appointed Frontline Health Care Workers (FLHCW) or a FLHCW who has returned to the workplace and was not previously registered for Covid-19 vaccination on the Healthcare Worker Portal.
  • If a FLHCW meets the criteria for the cohort (age groupings) currently eligible for registration on the public portal OR in a previous cohort i.e. age is greater than or equal to the category currently being registered, then they should register on the public portal for vaccination.

If a FLHCW aged less than the current group eligible for vaccination and has not yet received a Covid-19 vaccination, then the following process should be followed: 

Contact only one of the email addresses listed below/in the attached communication i.e. the one which covers the area for your home address:

Cork, Kerry – Email here 
Waterford, South Tipperary – Email here 

Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny – Email here
Dublin South, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Wicklow – Email here 
Dublin South West, Lucan, Saggart, Rathcoole and Kildare – Email here
Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath  – Email here 
Dublin North City and County – Email here 
In addition, as per sequencing schedule, please note the groups currently being vaccinated against COVID-19 are:

  • people aged 65 years and older who live in long-term care facilities (group 1)
  • frontline healthcare workers (group 2)
  • people aged 70 and older living in the community (group 3)
  • people aged 16 to 69 who are at very high risk (group 4)
  • people aged 65 to 69, including those at high risk (groups 5 and 6)
  • people aged 16 to 64 who are at high risk (group 7)

Since last Friday (23rd April) registration is open for people aged 60 to 69. 

The HSE has advised it expects to increase daily appointments to approx. 20,000 per day from next week. 

SIPTU understand 160,000 vaccines are due to be received from AstraZeneca on Friday and appointments for next week will be offered based on this delivery.

The HSE advised SIPTU representatives that it is meeting later today to consider the latest advice received from NIAC to include issues such as vaccination during pregnancy.

We expect to receive further updates on this matter and encourage you to download the SIPTU Health Division App and subscribe for regular updates.
25/04/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Your right to workplace health and safety

SIPTU Health Division members will remember all workers who’ve been killed or injured in work-related accidents on international workers’ memorial day, which takes place this Wednesday (28th, April). Along with trade unions across Europe, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has adopting the theme ‘workplace health and safety – it’s your right’ to highlight the need for robust health and safety practices in all workplaces.

This year’s memorial day will feature a commemorative wreath-laying ceremony to remember all those who have been killed, injured, or made ill at work. An online event will be broadcast on ICTU’s social media platforms at noon on Wednesday.

Worker safety and health is everyone’s business and can only be tackled through a collaborative approach. New figures from the Health and Safety Authority show that there were 490 work related-deaths in Ireland between 2010 and 2019.

International workers’ memorial day presents an important opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives or sustained injuries at work, and place health and safety center stage in the workplace.

20/04/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Get retirement ready with Cornmarket

SIPTU Health Division members can tune into a FREE Retirement Planning webinarhosted by Cornmarket exclusively for our members, on Wednesday 28th April from 5.00 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.

If you are planning to retire in the next couple of years, this event is for you! Click HERE.

The online information session will offer guidance on all aspects of retirement, from financial planning to taking care of your mental health during the transition. It will run for 90 minutes and will feature an interview with Brent Pope on the emotional impact of retirement and maintaining your wellbeing.

SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser, Kevin Figgis, will introduce the session and Cornmarket’s financial experts will talk about how to make your pension pot go further. 

Registration for the event is free.

it’s never been more important, or easier, to get the protections and benefits of union membership. Encourage colleagues to join SIPTU Health Division HERE.

  • Contact us HERE
  • More information on Cornmarket can be found HERE