Yesterday the Labour Court agreed with unions and recommended the HSE GIVE HEALTH WORKERS TEN DAYS OFF.
Health Care Workers worked hundreds of extra hours. They are exhausted. Everyone working in health can tell you they know people who are on the edge of leaving the job. They helped us get over Covid. They don’t need applause. Applause was supposed to signal that the real support for Health Care Workers needed was on the way: time off, pay, safe staffing. Calls for practical support are coming from all quarters of society. But government officials are already starting to say no.
We can’t forget how Health Care Workers rose to the sharpest edge of every challenge the Covid Crisis brought down: The risks, the restrictions, and the repeated calls to keep going on empty from the Health Service Executive.
They’ve done more than their share. Everyone agrees. All workers in the health deserve a break!
The group of unions representing healthcare workers made this joint claim for 10 days of holiday to reward workers for their work over Covid. People Before Profit backs their call that and says it is far too conservative. If Paul Reid and the HSE officials are pointing to budget shortfalls and previous agreements, we need to be ready to back protests. We say look at the healthcare workers and the work they’ve done and let’s give them the support they need- not just now but going forward. We need to unify that fight north and south as health care workers there have been correctly looking for 10-15%. Stormont wants just 3%.
Let’s remember too: Health Care Workers do actually need to have the REAL possibility of time off. Not just a ‘bonus’ in lieu.
Traditionally nurses have been calling for a 35 hour working week. Government chipped away to 37.5 then 39… It’s no wonder the HSE can’t find/keep staff. Let’s stand strong with our nurses and healthcare workers again. Let’s fight to give them the time off they need and build a health service that finally works.