‘Enough is enough’ – Letterkenny health staff take strike action

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first_imgFour hundred health support staff are striking at Letterkenny University Hospital today in a dispute between SIPTU members and the HSE over job evaluation. Significant disruption is expected at the hospital as staff from a wide range of roles take part in a 24 work stoppage. The strike began at 8am and there is a lot of activity around LUH as workers take to the picket line.SIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlin“All we are looking for is job evaluation and appreciation of our work status,” says Terry Brady, who has worked at LUH for 18 years. Terry Brady at the SIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinSIPTU Health Division Organiser Ciaran Sheridan, who joined the strike, said it was regrettable that staff were out today. “We have significant numbers this morning and support has been amazing,” Mr Sheridan said.“The main reason we are striking today is for respect for workers.”SIPTU Health Division Organiser Ciaran Sheridan at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinMr Sheridan explained the reason for the strike: “We can go back four years to 2015, with the reintroduction of the job evaluation scheme. We had a disagreement in 2016, ultimately we reached a resolution with the government when we appointed independent people to come in and do an assessment and put a value on the work of our members.  “Fast forward to October 2018, phase one and two of that was completed, that is healthcare assistants, theatre operatives, physio aids and CSSD (Central Sterile Services). A rebanding for those grades was recommended.“We entered this with no guarantees. The HSE accepted it, the Department of Health accepted it, so we look for implementation. “Unfortunately Paschal Donohoe and the Department say basically we acknowledge the agreement, we’ll consider it in 2021. That’s unacceptable. We have tried to engage and deal with it respectfully. We don’t want to be out on strike. But we have been absolutely forced into it.”SIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinMs Brady, who works in Medical Rehab, says her role has changed a lot over the years.“We have more responsibilities, we do a lot more patient care. Mainly, a lot of the day would be our patient care and their needs. With patient care a priority of all healthcare workers, Ms Brady said they had been hoping that the dispute wouldn’t come to a strike. “We were hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but unfortunately it has. Enough is enough. We can’t take any more. We want to be valued in our work.”SIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinSIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinSpeaking from the picket line, Ms Brady added: “The public are well behind us.”Today’s strike involves up to 10,000 SIPTU members across Ireland who provide portering, household and catering services and employed as Health Care Assistants, Maternity Care Assistants, Laboratory Aides, Chefs and Surgical Instrument Technicians. Some procedures, appointments and Outpatient Clinics have been cancelled, with patients being notified directly.The Emergency Department at LUH is open but patients are warned to expect significant delays. The latest INMO Trolley Watch report from Letterkenny shows that 24 patients are awaiting admission at the ED this morning.SIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinSIPTU Health Support Staff strike at Letterkenny University Hospital, 26th June 2019. Photo Rachel McLaughlinCritical care areas such as ICU and HDU will function as normal. Chemotherapy treatment and dialysis will proceed as scheduled across the Group.There will be reduced or very limited catering services for both patients and staff in some hospitals in the Saolta Group today.If no resolution is found in the SIPTU dispute this week, the union has planned for three more back-to-back strikes next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.‘Enough is enough’ – Letterkenny health staff take strike action was last modified: June 27th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:HSELetterkenny University HospitalSIPTUstrikelast_img

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