Planned industrial action on 16 February by 500 hospital pharmacists, members of the Fórsa trade union, was called off as the dispute was referred to the Labour Court. The workers had voted overwhelmingly in favour of action in a dispute over pay and improvements in the hospital pharmacy service which had been put forward by the union but blocked by the public service ministry. The changes would deliver estimated cost savings of €55m per year, a figure validated by the Department of Health and the Health Services Executive.
Hospital pharmacists call off strike action
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Members of the Fórsa public services union who work as hospital pharmacists have voted with a majority of 94% for strike action on 16 February. The union said that a range of measures had been proposed, including new senior posts and a new grading structure that have all been developed to improve and modernise hospital pharmacy services, and bring them in line with international best practice. These, have, however been rejected by the Department for Public Spending and Reform despite the potential for savings of €55m. The pay changes would particularly affect the lower end of the pay scale and
The Forsa public services union has negotiated a new agreement covering pharmacists in acute hospitals that includes a number of major improvements to pay and conditions. These include a shorter pay scale, an enhanced career structure, additional specialist and new senior posts, in addition to greater protections on the issue of weekend services, out of hours and extended working days. The union will now submit a similar claim to cover pharmacists working in community facilities.
The vpod/ssp public services union has launched an initiative to support its local activists in mobilising to win better pay and conditions for health workers across the country. The strike at the CHUV University Hospital in Lausanne was the starting signal for the union’s “Road to Strike” organizing campaign. Vpod/ssp argues that the situation in health establishments has worsened due to the pandemic with many workers facing burnout and leaving the sector. The persistent staffing shortages undermine working conditions and further pressures come from private health companies’ search for profit