SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 24th February) confirmed that strike action by up to 10,000 support workers in the health service has been averted. This follows an agreement with the HSE concerning a dispute which centred on job evaluation, incremental credit for support staff interns and concessions for emergency department staff.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “We have made significant progress on the issue of job evaluation and this process will commence immediately. With regard to the issue of incremental credit for support staff interns it has been agreed that this matter will be considered in the context of the forthcoming public sector pay negotiations.”
Bell added that the remaining issue of concessions for emergency department workers will return to the Labour Court. He said: “Disappointingly, we were unable to make sufficient progress in our negotiations to secure the concessions granted to nursing staff, assigned to emergency departments in acute hospitals throughout the state, in January 2015 were extended to all other health workers committed to working in the same tough environment.
“However, I believe that the decision to have this element of our dispute referred to the Labour Court for binding arbitration is the best way forward for all stakeholders, which includes the public who would have been unavoidably disrupted by the proposed strike action.