Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that the planned 24-hour strike by 10,000 hospital workers, including staff in Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda “will have a significant and serious impact on the provision of services.”
The Louth TD said: “The possibility of a further five days of strikes, on June 25 and 26 and July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th will put an enormous strain on the health service in Louth and across the state.”
Gerry Adams aid:
“This dispute between health workers and the HSE is over a failure by the HSE to implement pay increases arising from a job evaluation scheme. Health care workers involved include porters, household and catering services and healthcare assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians.
This threatened strike comes on top of the recent strikes by ambulance staff belonging to the Psychiatric Nurses Association who have gone on strike seven times in pursuit of their demand for union recognition. The PNA are planning a further 24-hour strike sometime this month.
The HSE claim that recognition of the PNA would impair good industrial relations in the Ambulance Service is a nonsense. The denial of workers their constitutional right to form or join unions of their choice is what is impairing industrial relations in the health service.
At the same time the HSE and Department of Health have introduced a recruitment pause within the health service and the most recent figures released by the INMO showed that 9,015 admitted patients were forced to wait without hospital beds in May. Clearly there continues to be a serious capacity deficit.
There is an onus on the government, and in particular the Ministers Harris and Donohoe to take immediate action to resolve this dispute before June 20th – the date of the first strike. The decision by the Dept. of Public Expenditure to refer this situation to the Public Service Stability Agreement Oversight Group gives no reassurance that this matter is being treated with the urgency that is required”.