• 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 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.

  • 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:

  • 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 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 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.”

  • This Friday and Saturday, the SIPTU Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon District Council will hold a seminar at Lissadell House in Sligo to mark the centenary of women's suffrage.

    The Markievicz / Partridge seminar will mark 100 years of the achievements made by women in the Irish trade union movement and in Irish politics.

    The event will recognise the contribution Countess Markievicz made to the trade union movement and women in politics, and her ancestral home - Lissadell House - will host the event.

    One of the owners of Lissadell House Constance Cassidy is among the speakers at the 2-day event, along with Minister of State for Education Mary Mitchell-O'Connor, Tish Gibbons of SIPTU and Labour historian Therese Moriarty.

  • More than 2,000 surgical and scope procedures and outpatient appointments  nationally were cancelled yesterday  as a result of a 24-hour strike by 10,000 health care workers in a dispute over pay.

    The HSE said the industrial action created a challenging situation and that difficulties arose as the strike began at 8am yesterday in maintaining “essential daily care” for inpatients such as nutrition, hydration, transfer of patients, cleaning and infection control”.

    The 24 hour industrial action concluded at 8am this morning.

    According to today’s Irish Times, health care assistants, maternity care assistants, porters, laboratory aides, chefs, and surgical instrument technicians were on strike as part of a dispute in which Siptu says they are entitled to increases of between €1,500 and €3,000 as a result of the findings of a job evaluation scheme.

    However, the union has rejected a Government proposal for the phased payment of the money commencing in November and running to 2021.

    Talks aimed at averting three further days of strike action next week are to reconvene at the Workplace Relations Commission this morning.

    Siptu’s Paul Bell says while they have accepted an invitation to the talks, the further stoppages next week have not been deferred.He says there's no resolution in sight.


  • SIPTU Health representatives have accepted an invitation to attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) tomorrow (Thursday, 27th June) at 10.30 am to discuss the dispute involving 10,000 health service workers over the implementation of a job evaluation scheme.

    The union’s Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell told Midwest News this evening that they have accepted the invitation from the WRC to attend talks tomorrow.

    The 24 hour strike will continue today, he said, and the planned three days of strike action due to take place next week (on 2nd, 3rd and 4th July) will proceed if the dispute is not resolved.

    He added that SIPTU is greatly encouraged by the huge turnout of members on picket lines at 38 hospitals across the country today and “appreciates the support of the public, including patients and visitors to the hospitals, and of colleagues in the health service.”

  • SIPTU organiser Terry Bryan is calling on protesters, the farm organisations and their members to fully consider the proposals concluded by their representatives at the talks that took place last Sunday. He told Midwest News today that meat plants need to get back up and running, as soon as possible.

    There are currently 6,000 meat processor workers on lay-off which is directly affecting thousands of families that have bills to pay, children to feed and rent now due.

    SIPTU HAS been seeking financial supports from the processors to address the real hardship that many workers and their families are facing.

    The union is expressing support today support for an employee loan scheme, initiated yesterday by some of the beef processing companies to alleviate the financial hardship faced by workers during the ongoing Beef Crisis.

    The loan offer by the employers is interest free.

  • Speed camera van workers are to strike over the October Bank Holiday.


    GoSafe operators who are members of SIPTU will take part in a 72 hour stoppage from 9am on Saturday the 26th.


    The escalation comes as part of the unions ongoing dispute with the company over staff working conditions and union recognition.


    It follows similar action last month which saw operators down tools for 24 hours.


    SIPTU Organiser, Brendan Carr says their members have been left with no option other than to escalate this dispute and are only taking this action as a last resort.

  • Talks will take place at the Labour Court today in an effort to resolve a dispute involving 10,000 health service workers over the implementation of a job evaluation scheme.

    The talks will be attended by SIPTU, the HSE, the Deptartment of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure.

    Strike action by SIPTU members remains deferred pending the outcome of the talks.

    SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, says he hopes a resolution can be found that will be acceptable to all parties.