FG stoking healthcare strike rather than seeking resolution
Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has accused Fine Gael of letting down healthcare workers.
Deputy Kelly said:
“Healthcare workers with their union SIPTU signed up to a transparent process of evaluation but the Government and the Department of Public Expenditure are seeking to undermine that and walk away from their commitments.
“Unfortunately, the Government failed to address the outstanding issues of the dispute and now appear to be attempting to bully the Union and workers into the Labour Court. They have repeatedly called for the Labour Court to intervene but a number of issues have not even been properly discussed at the Workplace Relations Commission.
“It is not the right of the employer to demand binding arbitration between workers from the Labour Court.
“Instead of seeking compromise the Minister for Health made incendiary comments this morning. This appears to an effort by the Government to target ordinary workers to rebuild Fine Gael’s image of upholders of fiscal prudence which is slipping away from them everyday.
“The meagre offer of €1.2million from DPER to resolve the €16.2m that is now owed is clearly intended as an insult to workers.
“The Minister for Health is attacking his own workers and coming across as weak by allowing the Department of Public Expenditure to run his Department.
“The fact that we are now at this point where heath support staff feel like they have no other option but to strike is completely the fault of the Government, who have not honoured their word to these important workers.
“This week’s industrial action could have been totally avoided if this Government had any clue about good industrial relations and if they had any respect for hospital staff.”