Éirígí For a New Republic stands full square behind the 10,000 health support workers who on Wednesday (June 26th) withdrew their labour at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities across the Twenty-Six Counties. The dispute between the workers and their Health Service Executive employers centers on a job evaluation scheme and related pay increases of €17m per year that are being withheld by the HSE.
Speaking from Rialto, Éirígí spokesperson Damien Farrell said, “The roots of this dispute can be traced back to the disastrous 2010 Croke Park Agreement which saw the original job evaluation scheme abolished.
Like all other public servants these health support workers took significant hits to their wages and conditions of employment as part of the austerity programme that was imposed on them by Fianna Fail, The Green Party, Fine Gael and Labour.
The porters, healthcare assistants, laboratory workers, technicians, chefs and other affected workers have paid dearly over the last decade for an economic crash that was not of their making. But even now, with an allegedly booming economy, the HSE and their political masters in Fine Gael are refusing to pay them what they are due under the reinstated evaluation scheme.
Éirígí welcomes the fact that the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union have brought ten thousand of their workers to the picket line to secure their entitlements. As the largest union in the country SIPTU have a special responsibility to help build a fighting trade union movement in a post-partnership era.”
Farrell concluded by calling for the creation of an Irish National Health Service,
“Éirígí has consistently supported healthcare workers in their fight for fair pay and decent working conditions. We extend solidarity to the health support staff and their families as they prepare for a three day strike next week.
We understand that this industrial dispute and the nurses strike earlier this year are symptomatic of a deeply dysfunctional and inefficient two-tier health service. Only the creation of a new Irish National Health Service will deliver both world-class health care and sustainable terms of employment for those that deliver it.”