17,000 staff at 36 hospitals to ballot on strikes over wages
Up to 17,000 staff at 36 hospitals, including health care assistants, chefs, laboratory aides and theatre staff, are set to ballot for strike action.
Siptu has announced that workers in support grades in areas including patient transport, catering, housekeeping, porter services, and security will vote from Monday.
The union is balloting all members in these grades in a dispute over the implementation of a job evaluation scheme that has been stalled.
It wants the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to allow members to move to a higher pay grade.
Siptu organiser Paul Bell said staff confidence in the public service pay deal has been severely undermined.
He said tensions have been heightened by a HSE decision to introduce an overtime ban and hiring embargo.
A spokesperson at the department said the oversight body for the pay deal is "best placed" to deal with the issue.