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.

Subscribe for updates here

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.

21/04/2021 Comments are off SIPTU Health

National Vaccination Programme update

SIPTU representatives met today (Wednesday, 21st April) with representatives of the HSE National Vaccination Team. 

At the meeting, HSE representatives confirmed an IT Portal opened last week for people aged between 65-69 years of age.

SIPTU representatives understand 122,000 registrations have been received to date. 41,800 appointments have issued and 3,150 people have attended for vaccination so far.

SIPTU representatives were advised the HSE is currently engaging with GP practices relating to the vaccination plan for Category Four and Seven. It is expected over 1,000 GP practices will remain as part of the programme. 

People under 60 years of age will be offered the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine as the advice of The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC)

Healthcare workers (HCWs) who have received a first dose AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered a second dose vaccine in line with NIAC advice. 

At the meeting, the HSE also confirmed it has asked all Hospital Groups and CHO Areas to provide a special email address for the purpose of being a contact point for healthcare workers who have not yet been vaccinated.

This may include staff returning from maternity leave, career break or other long-term absence. Details of these contact points are to be provided to the unions shortly for wide distribution. 

SIPTU representatives were advised an extension of the statutory instrument is being considered to widen the scope of grades who may undertake the vaccinator role. 

Finally, SIPTU representatives were advised 26 of the proposed 37 vaccination centres are currently open.

It was confirmed all staff working in a vaccination centre will be offered a vaccine in line with NIAC advice.

Members can view a full update from SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser, Kevin Figgis here

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
15/04/2021 Comments are off AideenC

HSE Update: Online vaccine registrations

From today, Thursday, 15 April, people aged between 65 and 69 can register for their COVID-19 vaccine online.

To avoid delays when we open registrations this week, we are asking people to register on different days depending on their age:

Registration dates and age groups

·       Thursday, 15 April, people aged 69 should register

·       Friday, 16 April – people aged 68 should register

·       Saturday, 17 April – people aged 67 should register

·       Sunday, 18 April – people aged 66 should register

·       Monday, 19 April – people aged 65 should register

If you are a staff member in this age group and you haven’t already registered for your vaccine then you too can register this week.

Register here for your vaccine

Online registration – information for patients and service users

People in this age group who are registering online will need their Personal Public Service Number (PPSN), their Eircode, an email address or a mobile phone number.

A friend or family member can help If someone is finding it difficult to go online and register or they can ring HSELive for support on 1850 24 1850 or 01 240 8787 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days.

Once registered the person will receive their vaccine appointment for the Vaxzevria® vaccine (also known as AstraZeneca) from Thursday, 22 April.

14/04/2021 Comments are off AideenC

Vaccination update for SIPTU members

SIPTU representatives today (Wednesday, 14th April) met representatives of the HSE National Vaccination Team for an update on the progress of the national vaccination plan.

At the meeting, HSE representatives confirmed that National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) advice states the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to people between 60 and 69 years old.

AstraZeneca was being used for Category 4 (People aged 16-69 with a medical condition that puts them at very high risk of severe disease and death) and remaining health care workers (HCWs)

Arising from this decision, SIPTU representatives understand all AstraZeneca vaccination clinics have been cancelled for this week and revised arrangements will be published. 

SIPTU representatives were told that approximately 810,000 doses of AstraZeneca will be received between April and end of June 2021. Initially, these doses will be used for Category 4 people aged between 60-69 years old. 

SIPTU representatives were advised 660,000 Pfizer vaccines would be received in April and that an IT Portal will open for people aged 65-69 years old this week. 

The Portal will issue appointments to the nearest vaccination centre for the address given by the registrant. We understand it will be expanded to other categories as soon as possible. It is likely the next age category will be 60-64. 

SIPTU representatives were advised people aged between 60-69 years old in Category 4 will be given an AstraZeneca vaccine. SIPTU were informed registrants will be advised on the appointment system and it will be the AstraZeneca vaccine they will be given. SIPTU understands a choice of vaccine will not be offered.

SIPTU was advised that approximately 150,000 healthcare workers (HCWs) have received a first dose vaccine to date and that a HCW who has received a first dose AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered a second dose vaccine of the same brand. 

The HSE stated the gap between vaccines has been changed on clinical advice and HCWs under 60 years old will have a gap of 16 weeks. Those over 60 years of age will have a gap between vaccines of 12 weeks. 

There is no clarity yet to confirm what option for vaccine will be available to HCWs aged under 60 years of age, or remaining Category 4, who have not yet been vaccinated. 

SIPTU representatives understand this is being reviewed currently and we are awaiting developments. 

SIPTU representatives were advised the expected delivery of vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is now not due to arrive as it is being withheld by the manufacturer. It was expected 14,000 doses would be received this week. This is now not the case and further developments are expected. The J&J vaccine is a one dose vaccine. 

In the immediate term, SIPTU understands most available Pfizer vaccines will be used to complete Category 3 (people aged 70 and older) of the sequencing document. These vaccines will be administered by GPs in the community and the National Ambulance Service for house-bound people.  

SIPTU representatives did raise concerns with the lack of communication from the HSE to their staff on the recent changes to the vaccine programme, with specific reference to healthcare workers who have been vaccinated or are yet to be vaccinated. This point was accepted.

SIPTU representatives were advised our members concerns would be raised with national health officials with a view of such a communication document being developed. Parties agreed to re-engage next week on updates and ongoing issues. 

If you would like to contact the union about your experience please email ask@siptuhealth.ie

To subscribe for these updates please click here

The current order in which people in Ireland will be vaccinated against COVID-19

(Category 1) People aged 65 years and older who are residents of long-term care facilities (likely to include all staff and residents on site) 

(Category 2) Frontline healthcare workers 

(Category 3) People aged 70 and older 

(Category 4) People aged 16-69 with a medical condition that puts them at very high risk of severe disease and death 

(Category 5) People aged 65-69 whose underlying condition puts them at a high risk of severe disease and death 

(Category 6) Other people aged 65-69, other healthcare workers not in direct patient contact, and key workers essential to the vaccine programme 

(Category 7) People aged 16-64 who have an underlying condition that puts them at high risk of severe disease and death 

(Category 8) Residents of long-term care facilities aged 18-64 

(Category 9) People aged 18-64 living or working in crowded settings 

(Category 10) Key workers in essential jobs who cannot avoid a high risk of exposure. 

(Category 11) People working in education sector 

(Category 12) People aged 55-64 

(Category 13) Other workers in occupations important to the functioning of society 

(Category 14) Other people aged 18-54 

(Category 15) People aged under 18 and pregnant women