SIPTU serves notice of strike action by 10,000 health workers in job evaluation dispute
SIPTU members working as support staff and chefs in 38 hospitals and health care facilities have today (Wednesday, 5th June) served notice of a 24 hour work stoppage on Thursday, 20th June, in a dispute concerning the failure to implement pay increases arising from an agreed job evaluation scheme.
The initial action, will involve up to 10,000 SIPTU members providing portering, household and catering services and employed as Health Care Assistants, Maternity Care Assistants, Laboratory Aides, Chefs and Surgical Instrument Technicians.
SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Public Sector, John King, said: “It is time for the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, to step in and resolve this dispute. Failure to do this will undoubtedly bring pressures on the delivery of health services.
“Our members accepted the provisions of all the public service agreements since 2010. The Government must now honour its obligations contained within these agreements. It is time to deliver for these workers. It is unacceptable that workers should be forced to go into an official dispute in order to get what they are owed.”
He added: “SIPTU representatives remain available for talks but such an engagement must be about the practical implementation of these outstanding awards for our members.”
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “SIPTU representatives hoped that this day would never come and that the HSE, Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform would see sense, and honour our members’ job evaluation process.
“Members employed in chef grades are also taking action. They co-operated with an independent review process of their pay relationship with similar grades in the public health service and in recent weeks have had their hopes of achieving pay justice dashed.”
He added: “The ball is now in the court of the Government. The Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, has a small three week window to resolve this dispute or face the consequences. Our members voted overwhelmingly by 95% in favour of taking strike action. They will not back down until they win this campaign for pay justice.”