• A 24 hour strike will take place at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country on June 20th.

    The action is being taken by hospital support workers in a row over pay increases linked to a job evaluation scheme.

    SIPTU claims the government has yet to honour commitments made under public sector agreements since 2010.

  • The HSE's mass testing of staff in meat plants and food processing facilities has been suspended.

    It began two weeks ago and since then, 40 positive cases have been identified.

    But the HSE says demand for testing in the community has trebled since Monday, and resources are being re-directed.

    It says serial testing in the plants will resume next week, but Siptu's Greg Ennis says that's unacceptable.

  • The Minister for Finance is urging both sides in the latest health workers dispute to continue with efforts to avoid tomorrow's planned strike.

    10,000 health support staff who are members of the SIPTU trade union are due to stage industrial action from 8am tomorrow morning, in a row over pay.

    38 hospitals and healthcare facilities will be affected by the strike - including Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway University Hospitals as well as Portiuncla and Merlin Park Hospital.

    The HSE has acknowledged the strike will have a "significant impact" on services despite back-up plans being put in place.

    Minister Paschal Donohoe says whatever can be done across the day will be done in a bid to avert tomorrow's industrial action.

     But he says a pay agreement is still in place, which he's committed to protecting.


  • In a statement to Midwest News this afternoon, the HSE says it regrets that the industrial action planned by SIPTU tomorrow Wednesday, will affect patient services.

    The industrial action planned at Mayo, Sligo, Galway and Roscommon University hospitals among 38 hospital nationally, will involve a significant number of staff who make an essential contribution to the effective running of the health services daily.

    The HSE says its continuing to engage on contingency planning with SIPTU at local hospitals to ensure minimum disruption to patient services, in so far as possible, and to ensure patient dignity and that essential daily care remains in place.

     Feedback from hospitals today indicates the services mostly impacted will include;


    • Deferral of some elective inpatient procedures
    • Significant cancellation of scope procedures
    • Reduced outpatient services 
    • Reduced laboratory services for GPs
    • Reduced catering services for both patients and staff
    • Reduced operating theatre activity.


    The services impacted will vary across the hospital sites.

     Patients are being contacted by their local hospital or healthcare facility in the event that their scheduled procedure or service will be affected by the dispute.

     The statement concludes: We will keep the public informed of any developments that may affect patient services through the national and local media, our social media channels and our website –


  • HSE support staff at Mayo, Galway, Roscommon and Sligo University Hospitals, as well as Merlin Park and Portiuncla hospitals, are due to take strike action on Thursday in a  row over pay.

    Across the country, 10,000 staff - represented by SIPTU - are set to strike, which is likely to cause significant disruption to health services.

    The action will involve healthcare assistants, porters, household and catering staff and laboratory aides, and will get underway at 8am on Thursday morning.

    The pay dispute follows a job-evaluation process that found the skill levels for HSE support staff had increased significantly in recent years, leading to union claims for pay rises.

    Talks held yesterday at the Workplace Relations Commission ended without agreement, and Paul Bell, SIPTU's health division organiser, says Thursday's strike will now go ahead.

  • Industrial action is taking place at First Choice Credit Unions in Ballyhaunis, Achill and Castlebar this afternoon by SIPTU staff members.

    The staff concerned say the issue is in a dispute over pay, travel time and other terms and conditions at the company.

    SIPTU Sector Organiser Pat Flannery told Midwest News today discussions have taken place with management this morning and some progress has been made, so further action has been suspended pending further discussions.

  • Maintenance workers at Mayo University Hospital are undertaking a series of lunchtime protests, over changes in their contracts.

    Over the past number of weeks, the maintenance workers - who are members of SIPTU and Connect trade unions - have been protesting outside the hospital on their lunchbreak.

    They claim a number of changes are being made to their contracts of employment, without any negotiation with the HSE or hospital management.

  • Challenges and costs in the Childcare sector must be tackled according to Mayo Senator Rose Conway Walsh.

    The Sinn Fein Senator says the Government cannot continue to ignore the challenges and costs in the childcare sector like costs, pay scales, recruitment, bureaucracy and funding of the sector.

    Sinn Féin proposed allocating €28m to commence a 5 year programme of childcare reform in their alternate budget which would increase pay for childcare workers and cut childcare fees.

    Her call comes ahead of the SIPTU ‘Crisis in Childcare’ meeting in Aughagower Community Centre at 7 o’clock tonight.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest Radio News a wealth tax could be used to finance their proposed change in Childcare services.

  • The Health Minister says he can't understand why the union representing health support staff went ahead with a strike before going to the Labour Court.

    10 thousand workers including cleaners, porters and catering staff have downed tools today in a pay dispute.

    The HSE says we won't know the full impact on hospitals until later today, but that surgeries, inpatient procedures and outpatient appointments will be the areas worst affected.

    The SIPTU union doesn't think going to the Labour Court now would resolve the row, if the goal posts in the dispute continue to change.

    But Health Minister Simon Harris insists that's what needs to happen to avoid more strikes next week:

  • An historic National Day of protest by the Early Years Sector takes place tomorrow in Dublin.

    Early Childhood Education and Care Providers and Early Years Teachers in Mayo and across the region will be among thousands closing their facilities nationwide to take part in the protest.

    Ann O’Reilly SIPTU organiser in Mayo says the sector is in crisis, with childcare workers generally underpaid and increasing pressures on child care facility owners to meet strict guidelines and rising insurance costs.

    She’s been telling Midwest News more about tomorrow’s action.

  • All sides involved in the health support workers' dispute will go to the Labour Court this morning.

    The HSE and SIPTU failed to reach an agreement yesterday in talks at the Workplace Relations Commission.

    10-thousand health-support staff are involved in a row over pay- with a strike last Wednesday causing cancellations and postponements at hospitals across the region.

    Three further days of strike action are planned for next week.

    A preliminary hearing will take place in the Labour Court this morning to try to resolve the dispute.

  • Workers in Section 39 organisations – including Western Care, Ability West and Rehab – have deferred the strike action which was scheduled for this Wednesday, following an agreement facilitated by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), to begin a process that it is hoped will lead to the restoration of pay for thousands of health and social care workers.

    SIPTU has welcomed the news and said that, after months of intense campaigning, they have  secured a viable process for a structured and transparent pay restoration mechanism for thousands of Section 39 workers.

    The Health Minister Simon Harris has also welcomed the deferral of industrial action, and says he’s pleased that services will not be disrupted.

    The HSE will carry out an analysis, with an interim report expected by the end of March.

  • Siptu and Meat Industry Ireland are to meet today to discuss pay.

    It comes as repeat Covid 19 testing in meat plants is on hold until next week.

    SIPTU is meeting Meat Industry Ireland today to outline its demands.

    The union is seeking a sick pay scheme for workers and a base wage of 12.30 per hour.

    It comes after the head of the HSE said it was the "right decision" to pause Covid-19 testing in meat plants in response to more demand in the community.

    Mass testing of factory workers is on hold until next week, with resources instead being focused on people with symptoms contacting their GP.

    More than 20 thousand people were referred for tests between Monday and Tuesday - which is double the number from the same two days last week.

  • SIPTU is calling on management at the Coca Cola plant in Ballina to fully implement a Labour Court recommendation recognising the right of workers in the plant to collective trade union representation.

    The Labour Court has recommended in favour of SIPTU's claim to have negotiation rights for workers in the concentrate manufacturing facility, but the union claims management has refused to implement the recommendation.

    Over 100 workers at the Coca Cola plant in Ballina are members of SIPTU, and the union is calling on management to immediately implement the Labour Court recommendation and engage with the union to negotiate terms and conditions of employment for members.

    Midwest News has asked Coca-Cola for a comment on the matter and we are awaiting a response. 


    A branch of SIPTU representing Local Authority Professional Officers has served notice of industrial action on Roscommon County Council, in support of their colleagues in the Fórsa trade union who are involved in a dispute over flexitime.

    Over 150 staff at Roscommon County Council are holding a fourth day of strike action today, and have vowed to continue striking every Tuesday and Thursday until the dispute is resolved.

    Their union is calling for the restoration of a flexitime scheme, which has not been available to staff since early last year.

    Yesterday, the National Public Service Oversight Body criticised Roscommon County Council management's failure to facilitate access to family-friendly work policies.

    The Local Authority Professional Officers of SIPTU have now served notice of industrial action, which will see almost 50 engineers and planned employed by Roscommon County Council joining the work stoppages unless a resolution is found to this dispute.


  • SIPTU Health representatives have today accepted an invitation to attend exploratory talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) tomorrow at 2.30pm to discuss the dispute on job evaluation. The dispute has led to the scheduled strike action of 10,000 health workers, which is due to commence on Thursday, 20th June.

    SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said; “We have accepted the invitation from the WRC to attend the talks. We will use these talks as an opportunity to restate our members’ position that the Government must make every effort to resolve this dispute. Failure to resolve this dispute will undoubtedly bring pressures on the delivery of health services.”

  • SIPTU members at the Coca-Cola manufacturing plant in Ballina are to commence a ballot for industrial action, as part of their campaign to secure collective bargaining rights.

    SIPTU says the dispute has been the subject of two Labour Court recommendations which found in favour of the union's claim for recognition to undertake negotiations to secure improvements in the terms and conditions of employment for its members.

    A ballot of SIPTU members at the Ballina plant will take place in the coming weeks.

    The union is calling on management to engage with them in advance of the ballot, to attempt to find a resolution.



  • SIPTU members will stage a one-day strike this Friday at the Western Alzheimers respite centre in Ballindine.

    The Marion House facility is one of 13 nationwide that are facing a 24-hour work stoppage on Friday, as part of the campaign to restore full wages to those involved in Section 39 organisations.

    Galway Rape Crisis Centre will also be impacted by the strike.

    Section 39 organisations, which are funded by the HSE, has cuts imposed during the recession, in line with the public service sector.

    However, while the public sector have since enjoyed pay rises, Section 39 workers -working in areas such as home care, dementia, and alzheimers services -  have not seen their pay restored.

    Last April, a deal was brokered at the WRC to restore pay for Section 39 workers, but SIPTU says this has failed to materialise, which has led to Friday's industrial action.

  • SIPTU - the country's largest trade union - is leading a campaign to pressurise politicians to stop the State pension rising to 67 next year.

    The State pension was raised from 65 to 66 in 2014, and is set to increase to 67 from the start of next year, and to 68 in 2028 - creating further financial difficulties for retirees until their pension payments kick in.

    SIPTU is now calling on politicians to nail their colours to the mast, and commit to reversing the plan to increase the State pension to 67.

    Pat Flannery, SIPTU's Mayo  District Council Co-Ordinator, says the pension age has become a red-hot issue in this general election campaign

  • SIPTU representatives have written to Meat Industry Ireland, the body which represents processors in the industry, calling on it to ensure that union members do not suffer a financial loss because of ongoing protests by farmers at processing plants around the country.

     SIPTU Organiser, Jason Palmer, said: “The ongoing protests are causing severe difficulties for SIPTU members working at these plants. Members are facing ongoing lay-offs and loss of earnings since the commencement of these protests concerning beef production.”

    SIPTU is calling on Meat Industry Ireland, to meet with SIPTU representatives to agree compensation for its members who continue to suffer a financial loss because of the dispute.

     IPTU Organiser, Terry Bryan, told Midwest News : “our members have had to endure financial hardship as a result of the dispute between beef farmers and processors. This results in our members facing an uncertain future. The situation cannot continue. SIPTU has today written to Meat Industry Ireland seeking an urgent meeting on the matter.”