Patients facing hospital chaos as talks to avert strike collapse
Patients are facing severe disruption on Thursday following the collapse of talks aimed at avoiding a strike by 10,000 HSE support staff.
A 24-hour stoppage is planned in 38 hospitals by the staff, who include porters and chefs.
The talks collapsed yesterday at the Workplace Relations Commission.
The workers are seeking pay increases adding up to about €20m, ranging from €1,600 to €3,200 a year.
The HSE has so far declined to say what contingency plans are in place and how services will be affected.
The strike will involve a range of key grades, including healthcare assistants and laboratory staff.
The staff are demanding that the Government pays wage hikes that they say are outstanding following a previous job evaluation scheme.
Among the hospitals affected if the stoppage goes ahead are Cork University Hospital, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Beaumont Hospital, the Mater and St James's Hospital.
Siptu official Paul Bell warned members were entitled to their money. He also noted the Government had no difficulty honouring a similar job evaluation scheme for officer grades that had been agreed at the same time, in the same process and in the same building.