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29 Jun 2022

Watch: Senior Medical Scientist at Letterkenny University Hospital explains why they are on strike

Frustration over long-standing pay and career development issues

Medical scientists based at Letterkenny University Hospital joined with colleagues all over the country to stage industrial action today in frustration over long-standing pay and career development issues. 

Their action involves the withdrawal of routine laboratory services from 8am to 8pm, which is affecting routine hospital and GP services across the country.

In this video here, Kathleen King, Senior Medical Scientist at Letterkenny University Hospital, has been outlining the reasons why they have taken strike action.

The Union representing Medical scientists – the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA) – said it has made every effort to avoid today’s disruption to patients and fellow healthcare workers, but has been left with no alternative. MLSA has 2,100 members and said the vast majority were on picket lines today at all public voluntary and HSE hospitals.

The action follows many rounds of unsuccessful talks with the HSE, Department of Health, Department of public expenditure and reform and the public service agreement group. In a ballot of MLSA members last November 98% had voted in favour of taking the action.

If no progress is made a further two days of action are planned for May 24 and 25. Three further days of action are planned for May 31, June 1 and June 2. 

MLSA Chairperson Kevin O’Boyle said medical scientists did not want to be taking this action today and it was only the second time in the sectors’ 60 year history that action had been taken. However, there is huge frustration and burn-out because of a severe recruitment and retention problem which have been ignored by the HSE and Department of Health for many years.

MLSA General Secretary Terry Casey said the Union is seeking meaningful talks with the HSE and Department of Health.

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