Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath Robert Troy TD has criticised the HSE for failing to take adequate steps to resolve the industrial relations dispute at Mullingar General Hospital.
The dispute arose due to staffing shortages brought about by Government cutbacks. Deputy Troy made the comments after the HSE failed to put forward suitable representatives to the Labour Relations Commission which has been tasked with resolving the dispute.
“I welcome the fact that the HSE has finally agreed to engage with staff at Mullingar General Hospital through the Labour Relations Commission. The staff had been previously assured that an additional 35 posts would be created at the hospital, but this has not happened to date” said Deputy Troy.
“However the HSE does not seem to be taking the process seriously. Instead of putting forward senior management to deal with the Labour Relations Commission process, it has only put forward representatives of hospital management.
“This is simply not good enough. The hospital management team does not have the power to make decisions relating to overall staffing arrangements at the hospital. These decisions are made by senior HSE staff, and they are the only ones that can commit to providing additional resources to the hospital.
“It seems the HSE is just giving lip service to the reconciliation service being offered by the Labour Relations Commission. It wants to be seen to be engaging with the process, but it does not want to actually take the decisions necessary to resolve the dispute over staffing arrangements.
“The Government needs to put pressure on senior HSE management to engage with the process properly. This dispute is no closer to being resolved, and the reconciliation process will not move forward until the appropriate senior managers begin to engage in the process
“The Minister for Health has been busy issuing commentary from the side-lines but has not actually done anything to help resolve the dispute. The Minister has the power to instruct the HSE to honour the staffing commitments that it made. However so far he has refused to hold senior HSE management to account. This has got to change” said Deputy Troy.