HSE Labour Court hearing adjourned

HSE Labour Court hearing adjourned
SIPTU strike by support workers including porters, chefs and healthcare assistants pictured at Cork University Hospital last month.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Labour Court hearing between the HSE and healthcare support worker representatives has been adjourned until Wednesday.

Three days of intensive talks took place last week as the unions and HSE sought to avoid further strike action by healthcare support staff across Cork and Ireland.

The talks came after around 1,000 healthcare workers across Cork took part in a 24-hour strike at the end of June. Three consecutive days of action scheduled were scheduled for last week but were deferred by SIPTU to allow for Labour Court hearings.

"SIPTU representatives are satisfied members of the Labour Court have full knowledge of our members grievances over the implementation of a job evaluation scheme and what may be necessary to resolve this ongoing dispute," SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Paul Bell said.

Almost 10,000 staff, including healthcare assistants, hospital chefs and other health service support staff, across Ireland went on strike last month as they seek pay increases of about €21 million.

Patients in Cork saw appointments cancelled and services disrupted as thousands of healthcare support staff went on strike in the region, and the HSE admitted that the action had a huge impact on patient services and care.

Thirty eight hospitals and healthcare facilities were affected by the industrial action and almost 40 patients at the Mercy University Hospital saw their appointments cancelled.

Dr Conor Deasy, consultant at Cork University Hospital, had warned that the strike would cause delays in Emergency Departments across Ireland, as hospitals and other settings rely on a wide range of health support staff.

The HSE also acknowledged that “the situation in all sites was challenging because of the range of essential services affected” by the action.

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