Support staff including porters, chefs and healthcare assistants at Roscommon University Hospital took part in 24-hour industrial action on Wednesday due to an ongoing pay dispute following the breakdown of talks on Monday between SIPTU and Government officials.
SIPTU had accused the Government of reneging on a commitment to provide pay rises of up to €3,000 each to support workers.
Further strikes loom next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 38 hospitals while the union has threatened to ballot staff at a further 20 hospitals.
The industrial action brought widespread disruption to the national health service and Government ministers have demanded that the dispute be referred to the Labour Court.
Earlier this week, Minister for Health, Simon Harris, described SIPTU’s decision to go ahead with an all-out strike as “absolutely extraordinary”.
SIPTU to attend talks this morning
As we went to press on Wednesday evening, SIPTU Health representatives accepted an invitation to attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) this morning (Thursday, 27th) at 10.30 am to discuss the dispute involving 10,000 health service workers over the implementation of a job evaluation scheme.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “We have accepted the invitation from the WRC to attend talks. The planned three days of strike action due to take place next week (on July 2nd, 3rd and 4th) will proceed if we do not resolve this dispute.
“We are greatly encouraged by the huge turnout of members on picket lines at 38 hospitals across the country today. We also appreciate the support of the public, including patients and visitors to the hospitals, and of our colleagues in the health service”.