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January 2017 Industrial Relations Newsletter

Adare Human Resource Management

Established in 2003, Adare Human Resource Management are Ireland’s leading expert and provider of Employment Law, Industrial Relations (IR), Human Resource Management (HRM) and Health and Safety Services.

SIPTU List Hospitals For National Strike Ballot

Jan 23, 2017

Just as Government and the HSE attempt to get to grips with the reported record numbers of A&E patents being treated on trollies across the country, SIPTU members countrywide, who are employed as hospital support staff, will be balloting for strike action. 

The workers, employed in at least 40 hospitals across the country will begin a ballot for strike action in late January, in a dispute resulting, from what SIPTU claim, are breaches of the national public service agreements and their exclusion from concessions provided to other emergency department staff.  The outcome of the ballot will be announced on February 13 and should the ballot be in favour of strike action this would have a significant impact of A&E wards already reported to be in crisis.  

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “It is deeply regrettable that our members in these hospitals feel compelled to take this action. The hospitals to be balloted have been selected due to our members’ belief that the issues in dispute are particularly acute in these facilities. It is expected that additional hospitals will be added”.  Mr Bell said there are a number of issues involved including what he says is “a failure by management to adhere to the fully binding provisions of the Lansdowne Road Agreement and Haddington Road Agreement. The most crucial elements that have not been adhered to include to reintroduce a job evaluation scheme, to pay interns or apply incremental credit and double time payments”.

Late last year SIPTU president Jack O'Connor said if a date was not set for discussions with Government  on pay then SIPTU would seek to ballot 60,000 members, “who are covered by the Lansdowne Road Agreement, and who wish to do so, to commence balloting for industrial action and/or strike action in pursuit of their demands."  The SIPTU Leader also said "we utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

It is perhaps significant in the context of the A&E support staff dispute that SIPTU have published an “initial” list of hospitals where SIPTU support staff members will be balloted.  The use of the term “initial” suggests the published and considerable list below is not exhaustive.  In short, the IR and pay pressure on the State will certainly run through and increase in 2017.  In the context of finding a solution, or the basis for one, the report of the recently constituted Public Sector Pay Commission, chaired by retired Labour Court Chairman Kevin Duffy is now very eagerly awaited by all stakeholders including many organisations in the Semi State and private sector, who will not be immune from its conclusions.  

The “Initial” list of hospitals to be balloted by SIPTU are:

Connolly Hospital, Dublin
Central Mental Hospital, Dublin
Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin
Coombe Women’s and Infants University Hospital, Dublin
National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin
Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, Dublin
Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Dublin
Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dublin
Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin
Killarney Community Hospital, Kerry  
Tallaght Hospital, Dublin
Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
James' Hospital, Dublin
Mater Hospital, Dublin
St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin
Cavan General Hospital, Cavan
Mullingar General Hospital, Westmeath
Portlaoise General Hospital, Laois
Dublin Dental Hospital, Dublin
Our Lady's Hospice and Care Services, Dublin
St. Ita's Hospital Portrane, Dublin
South Tipperary General Hospital, Tipperary
St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny
Wexford General Hospital, Wexford  
Cork University Hospital, Cork
Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork
Bantry General Hospital, Kerry  
Mercy University Hospital, Cork
University Hospital Kerry
Letterkenny University Hospital, Donegal
Sligo University Hospital, Silgo
University Hospital Limerick
University College Hospital Galway
Merlin Park Hospital, Galway
Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, Offaly
Naas General Hospital, Kildare
St. Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, Dublin
Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, Meath
Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda, Louth
Louth County Hospital, Dundalk, Louth

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