The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has invited health officials and union representatives to talks tomorrow in a bid to avert a strike by health support staff.
Up to 10,000 SIPTU members working as support staff and chefs in 38 hospitals and health care facilities across the country are set to take part in a 24-hour strike on Thursday June 20th.
It comes amid a dispute over a job evaluation process.
SIPTU claims says had undergone an independent job evaluation procedure under the Public Service Pay Agreement, which found that they are underpaid and should be shifted to a higher band.
The union has accused the HSE and Department of Public Expenditure of "sidestepping" their obligations.
'Exploratory talks' are now due to take place at the WRC tomorrow afternoon ahead of next week's planned strike.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “We have accepted the invitation from the WRC to attend the talks. We will use these talks as an opportunity to restate our members’ position that the Government must make every effort to resolve this dispute.
"Failure to resolve this dispute will undoubtedly bring pressures on the delivery of health services.”
Health care assistants, lab aids, hospital theatre workers, porters and cleaners are among the support staff who have backed industrial action.
Hospital chefs were separately balloted and also voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.