Ireland: Up to 17,000 hospital staff set to ballot for strike action - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandUp to 17,000 hospital staff set to ballot for strike action

16:50  15 april  2019
16:50  15 april  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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More than 7, 000 hospital support staff are to ballot next month for strike action as part of disputes over pay. Earlier this week nurses warned of further strikes if a row over a new contract – a key element in proposals that led to the suspension of a series of work stoppages last month – was not

More than 7, 000 hospital support staff including 1, 000 chefs will ballot for strike action next month in a dispute over pay. The staff belonging to SIPTU accuse the Government of frustrating a job evaluation process, which had found that members had been underpaid for some years.

Up to 17,000 hospital staff set to ballot for strike action © PA Wire/PA Images Stock photo: PA

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 onto a higher pay grade.

A union spokesperson said the first phase of an independent review found that 7,000 of its members were entitled to move to higher grades.

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Members of the union will now be balloted for strike action next month. SIPTU Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said: "It is disappointing and regrettable that the Government made a decision to He said that around 1, 000 chefs employed in the HSE and other related agencies will also be balloted .

Support staff in hospitals and healthcare centres across the country will be balloted for strike action over a pay claim in the New Year. They suggest some members have been "substantially underpaid" by up to €6, 000 a year. SIPTU Divisional Organiser Paul Bell says they've been left with no other

Separately, the union is demanding that 1,000 chefs who are classified as general operatives shift to a higher craft workers’ pay scale.

Siptu Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said his members’ confidence in the public service pay deal has been severely undermined.

“The move to extend the ballot for strike action from selected hospitals to include all members in support grades follows a meeting of the Siptu Health Support Sector Committee on Thursday,” said Mr Bell.

He said tensions have been heightened by a recent HSE decision to introduce an overtime ban and three month recruitment embargo.

“Our members have played by the rules and waited since 2015 for the Government to honour, in full, a job evaluation process that was negotiated as part of the Lansdowne Road Agreement,” he said.

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Some support-grade staff underpaid by up to €6, 000 a year, union claims. Siptu is expected to announce formally on Friday that it will ballot more than 7, 000 support-grade staff in the health service for strike action early in 2019. The nurses and midwives look set to stage a series of 24-hour

More than 7, 000 hospital support staff are to ballot next month for strike action as part of disputes over pay. Earlier this week nurses warned of further strikes if a row over a new contract – a key element in proposals that led to the suspension of a series of work stoppages last month – was not

The result of the ballot will be announced on May 16.

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