HUNDREDS of workers at the UL Hospitals Group have taken to picket lines as part of a 24-hour strike action which began at 8am this Wednesday.
The workers, who are represented by SIPTU, have withdrawn labour in a row which centres on a job evaluation scheme, which the Government agreed to carry out during negotiations on the last Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA).
Three hospitals in Limerick are affected by the strike action - University Hospital Limerick, UL Maternity Hospital and Croom Orthopeadic Hospital.
Standing in #solidarity with the workers at University Hospital #Limerick.— Dan O' Neill (@activedan) June 26, 2019
Give them what they’re due!
Hon Limerick! Hon the workers! #HonLimerick @SIPTU @siptuhealth @PaidiCole pic.twitter.com/6zNC6OkILT
More than 100 workers at UHL were on the picket line at 8am with hundeds more set to join at various stages before 8am on Thursday.
"Day to day inside here is very very difficult in difficult conditions. We are short staffed and we are being left all the time and nobody is listening and they just don's seem to care about how difficult is is to work in the situation inside there we are just burned out," said Denis Ryan who works as a healthcare assistant in one of the surgical wards UHL.
Eugene Taaffe who works as a porter at UHL says staff are at their wits end.
"We are annoyed about it because in my view something like this doesn't need to happen. If the Government was taking us seriously as a workforce thiscould be sorted but obvioulsy they don't consider us to be that important if they are letting us come out here," he told the Limerick Leader.
A spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group says it regrets that the industrial action is taking place.
The emergency department at UHL is operating as normal as are all services at Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital and St John’s Hospital.