Health unions call for “immediate” talks after Labour Court recommendation on COVID-19 compensation

Unions representing healthcare workers have called for immediate talks with the HSE on recognition for healthcare worker’s efforts during the COVID-19 crisis, following a Labour Court recommendation today.

SIPTU, Fórsa, and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation had raised the issue at the Labour Court, which today called on all parties to begin “effective engagement” to resolve the matter.

Unions are seeking some form of tangible recognition for healthcare workers’ contribution to the fight against COVID-19. In other countries across Europe, this has taken the form of additional pay, annual leave or a bonus.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Chair of the Staff Panel of trade unions in the health sector, said: “We welcome the Labour Court recommendation today. Unions have consistently sought meaningful meetings with the HSE on this issue.

“The Court recognised the ‘extraordinary efforts of health workers throughout the pandemic’. They have called on all parties to ‘make every effort possible’ to begin ‘effective engagement’ to ‘achieve clarity…at the earliest possible opportunity’.

“Trade unions are available to meet immediately to do exactly that. This is a simple matter of justice for our members. They have made incredible sacrifices and taken huge risks throughout the pandemic. It is time for the HSE and government to recognise their efforts meaningfully, as has been done in other countries across Europe.”

The national staff panel of health care workers unions represents members of the INMO, SIPTU, Fórsa, IMO, MLSA, UNITE, CONNECT, and the craft group of unions.

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