SAOLTA Healthcare Group has issued a statement in relation to the planned strike of support staff at Letterkenny University Hospital tomorrow. The said they are continuing to put contingency plans in place in advance of the industrial action which affects up to 425 SIPTU members at LUH.
A Spokesperson said: “Across each of the hospitals, patients whose procedures or appointments are being cancelled are being contacted directly – this mostly relates to inpatient elective procedures, scopes and day case procedures. Some Outpatient Clinics have also been cancelled – it varies from hospital to hospital but patients are being notified directly, if patients do not hear from their hospital they should attend their appointment as scheduled.
“Emergency Departments will remain operational across the Group although patients can expect significant delays. At Roscommon University Hospital, the Injury Unit will remain open.
“Critical care areas such as ICU and HDU will function as normal. Chemotherapy treatment and dialysis will proceed as scheduled across the Group. There will be reduced or very limited catering services for both patients and staff in some hospitals in the Group.
“We regret the inconvenience for patients and will work to reschedule their appointments as quickly as possible.”
SIPTU representatives confirmed yesterday that talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) aimed at resolving a dispute on job evaluation have concluded without an agreement.
SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser, Paul Bell said: “SIPTU would prefer a negotiated settlement that does not impact on patient services. Unfortunately, we have run out of time and too many issues remain unresolved. SIPTU members have acted in good faith at all times during this dispute including by deferring two days of strike action. We believe that the Government has abused the conciliation process and never meaningfully engaged with SIPTU representatives. Some €16.2 million is owed to our members yet the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has only offered €1.2 million to resolve this dispute. Furthermore, the Department has attempted to frustrate this process by seeking to unilaterally change a crucial element of the job evaluation scheme which centres on the assimilation of pay to new grades as awarded under this independent process.”
He added: “A 24 hour strike, involving up to 10,000 support staff, will go ahead from 8.00 a.m on Wednesday (26th June) as our members continue to pursue their legitimate claim for recognition, respect and pay justice.”