Wednesday 26 July 2017

Unite staff 'likely to ballot' in dispute

Unite regional officer Willie Quigley. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Unite regional officer Willie Quigley. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Hundreds of health service support staff are considering industrial action after their colleagues at SIPTU announced they will ballot for possible strike action later this month.

Trade union Unite said health service support staff, including health-care assistants, cleaners, porters, catering and kitchen staff are being "left out in the cold" in the application of the HSE National Evaluation process.

Unite is looking at balloting this month on possible industrial action. "It's as good as certain. I can't see any way around it," Unite regional officer Willie Quigley told the Irish Independent.

The union said it is deeply frustrated over what it claims is the refusal by the HSE to fully implement the Lansdowne Road and Haddington Road agreements concerning the HSE's evaluation process.

The process compensates workers for additional workload and responsibilities but has been suspended for some time for hospital and health service support staff yet not other grades, Mr Quigley claimed.

SIPTU announced it will ballot 25,000 members who also work as HSE support staff for possible strike action due to take place on January 23.

Last week, SIPTU's Health Division organiser Paul Bell said the union will begin a ballot immediately for strike action over what he claimed is the "HSE and Department (of Health) refusing to implement fully binding provision of the Lansdowne Road and Haddington Road agreements" which he said had been agreed in "good faith" by its members.

The HSE said it was disappointed at Siptu's decision to ballot for strike action and that it is "open to the reintroduction of a job-evaluation scheme for support staff subject to management discussions regarding costings for such a scheme".

Irish Independent

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