Hospital workers to vote on strike action in New Year

Dispute over the Lansdowne Road agreement could cause disruption in 2017...

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Empty hospital beds in a corridor | Image:

Support staff in the major hospitals are to be balloted for strike action by their union.

SIPTU has said it is due to the HSE failing to implement parts of the Lansdowne Road agreement on public sector pay.

The ballot of over 25,000 is due to commence in January and will involve staff in emergency departments including in Dublin, Cork, Galway and the Midlands.

Health Division Organiser Paul Bell says the ballot is separate to any action on future wage demands:

"The issue that we're balloting on are actually breaches of the existing agreement, passing one issue which concerns a concession made by the Department of Health and the HSE last year, where they've been able to do a particular deal for emergency department workers. The problem is that we have people working in those areas also.

"So this about making sure that the agreement that we already have, which is the Lansdowne Road agreement, is applied.

"Some of our professional colleagues who provide certain services, diagnostics and so forth, they also may become involved, because they have been impacted by the behaviour of the Health Service Executive.

"But we want to reassure the public that we have been trying to resolve these issues for the past 15 months and the Workplace Relations Commission has been involved in one or two of them."