Saturday 18 November 2017

St James’s nurses condemn 'total fiasco' as hospital parking spaces removed

St James’s Hospital
St James’s Hospital

Tomás Heneghan

Work on the new Children’s Hospital may cause chaos at St James’s Hospital from Monday, as staff parking spaces are removed.

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are objecting to the removal of the car parking facilities.

At a meeting of the organisation last Thursday over 100 members condemned the removal of the parking spaces and the actions of management at St James’s.

St James's Hospital said tonight in a statement that additional parking for staff had been secured at the Royal Kilmainham Hospital.

"Staff parking at St. James’s Hospital will be reduced as a result of building works relating to the new children's hospital. The hospital has been engaging with staff in respect of this matter on an ongoing basis for the past year. Additional parking for staff has been secured by the Hospital at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham."

"The Hospital continues to engage with staff directly around mobility on and off the Hospital campus. A full-time Mobility Manager has been in place for the last year to assist staff in planning their journeys to and from work," the statement added.

However, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Clare Treacy today labelled the issue a “total fiasco”, and said there was "a lack of consultation with staff".

She explained: “How can this decision be considered acceptable; there was a lack of consultation with staff; a total disregard for safety of a predominately female workforce; and this is further compounded by the absence of an alternative plan to minimise disruption.”

Ms Treacy added: “We asked management to defer the decision for a short period of time, to allow for safe alternatives to be put in place, but no response has been received.

“INMO members are understandably angry and feel disrespected by their employer. Such action is likely to have serious consequences for the recruitment and retention of staff.”

A key concern for group was that nurses who are working 12 hour shifts “need to be assured that a safe and secure car space will be available for them”.

In a statement the INMO said: “The lack of adherence to the most basic good practice of consultation, is also felt by INMO members as a disregard for the public service agreement and a lack of appreciation for them as employees, considering the flexibility and productivity they have shown throughout the past number of difficult years.”

The group said many nurses were writing to the Board of the hospital to express their “utter dismay” over the parking facilities situation.

They are also calling for the resignation of Board members.

The INMO said its members will meet again next week to “further consider” its response, with a ballot for industrial action also being an option.

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