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“Support Staff Strike at University Hospital Waterford Severely Impacts Patient Services, Especially Food Supply”

Waterford: A strike by support staff at University Hospital Waterford has severely impacted patient services, particularly food supply. The strike, which began on May 27, has shown no signs of resolution after more than a month, with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Unite trade union remaining at an impasse.

The HSE’s letter to Unite on June 20 stated that there would be no salary increase, further dimming hopes for a settlement. Unite has announced plans to intensify the strike in response. The strike involves workers from the laundry, catering, and porter departments, who are demanding the reversal of a decision to withhold a salary increase.

The strike originated from grievances over the exclusion of laundry workers from a regrading scheme and the lack of incremental credits for porter and catering workers. Unite has accused the HSE of violating the national wage agreement and threatening striking workers, which the union leaders deem unacceptable.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has expressed solidarity with the striking workers, instructing its members not to undertake non-nursing duties such as food distribution. The INMO emphasised its commitment to not undermining the industrial action of another union and highlighted the existing staffing crisis. Unite has acknowledged and appreciated the INMO’s support.

The strike continues to cause significant disruption, with no resolution in sight.

Irish Samachar English News

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