Sunday 21 July 2019

Q&A: How valid is claim of striking healthcare workers over payments of up to €3,200?

Photo: Stock Image
Photo: Stock Image

Why are 10,000 healthcare support staff striking?

They have a pay claim of between €1,600 and €3,200 they say they are due.

How valid is the claim?

Siptu cites a job evaluation scheme set up as part of the 2015 Lansdowne Road Agreement. The review found many of these workers have taken on expanded duties and should get a pay rise.

What work do these staff do?

They are spread across the service and include healthcare assistants, chefs and laboratory staff.

What efforts have been made to resolve the issue?

Talks took place at the Workplace Relations Commission this week but they broke down.

What led to the collapse?

According to Siptu, both the Department of Health and the HSE accepted the findings of the job evaluations. It blamed the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for blocking the payment and not paying it until the National Public Service Agreement in 2021. Siptu said it would not accept another national agreement like the Public Service Stability Agreement unless the current agreement is honoured in full.

What are the implications for patient care if the strike goes ahead?

They will be very serious and lead to cancellation of surgery and other procedures, as well as problems ensuring patients receive hot, cooked meals.

How long will the strike last?

The first strike will involve a 24-hour work stoppage. Other strike days are also planned.

Irish Independent

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