Brothers of Charity workers to start industrial action

Up to 150 social care workers in Co. Roscommon will start industrial action next Tuesday as a major dispute with the Health Service Executive escalates.

  The Brothers of Charity employees met in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon town, last Friday to finalise their plans for industrial action.

  Padraig Mulligan, the assistant general secretary of Impact trade union, confirmed that the work-to-rule would start on September 8.

  He said: “The social care workers will work solely to contracted hours: all of the extra work they do, will stop. They are also going to stop taking people to hospital appointments outside of their hours.

  “We will be looking, at a later date, to carrying out short work stoppages of one of two hours duration. Short strikes, in other words.”

  The employees are among 400 social care workers across counties Roscommon and Galway who are owed a total of €7.5 million in unpaid wages, the Impact trade union said.

  They said that, since 2004, they had been entitled to ‘twlight premium payments’ – time and a sixth for working between 6 pm and midnight – but had never received them.

  The Labour Relations Commission tried to resolve the row, but failed.

  A spokesperson for the HSE, who employee the social care workers, said: “Following a national engagement with staff representatives agreement was made by the HSE to pay unsocial hours to designated staff. 

  “This payment commenced on 1st January 2015. No agreement was made in relation to arrears.

  Currently the issue of a backdated claim for arrears is being reviewed by the State’s industrial relations processes and the claim is currently before the Labour Relations Commission. 

  “The HSE cannot comment further whilst this process is underway.”

  Meanwhile, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have made some negative findings about the three Brothers of Charity houses in Co. Roscommon, which cater for a maximum of 13 residents.

  HIQA’s inspection report, published last Friday, said: “Major non-compliances were identified in relation to the governance and management of the centre and staffing allocation.

  “Since the last monitoring inspection, the provider had assigned two managers to the position of joints persons in charge of this centre.

  “On review, it was found that their roles and responsibilities were too broad and inadequate.”