SIPTU concerns over UHL staffing

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

SIPTU concerns over UHL staffing

SIPTU to discuss ballot for industrial action at UHL in coming weeks

SIPTU members at University Hospital Limerick will soon meet to consider balloting for industrial action in relation to staffing concerns.

SIPTU health sector organiser, Tony Kenny said that UHL management have “continually breached agreements.

“Our members are concerned for patient safety and their own health and safety. Ongoing reduced staffing levels on medical and surgical wards are unsustainable at the moment.

“We had recently been engaging proactively with management on agreeing minimum necessary staffing requirements, but unfortunately management have not honoured their commitments in this regard,” he stated.

SIPTU wrote to management, last Tuesday, to inform them of the possibility of industrial action, at UHL. He added that the “current practice of expecting support staff to do more and more work with less and less staff cannot continue.

“The frail, sick and elderly patients of the Mid-West deserve a properly-resourced health service; not a dysfunctional system bogged down in a recruitment moratorium whereby everybody agreed more staff are urgently required but nothing is done to recruit these staff because of an accountancy exercise, carried out by faceless individuals elsewhere.”

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said that it has been “engaging proactively” with the trade union on a weekly basis for a number of months, in response to these concerns.

“Significant progress has been achieved and engagement is continuing, with the involvement of an independent chairman. UL Hospitals Group has recruited over 100 additional support staff in the past 18 months. This involved the appointment of additional support staff in key areas to address concerns raised by SIPTU.

“UL Hospitals is committed to safe patient care and safe working standards for staff through the ongoing engagement with those staff and  SITPU at senior management level.”

This is the second time in a number of months that SIPTU has warned UHL of possible industrial action.