Medical scientists are set to take industrial action later this month in frustration over long-standing pay and career development issues.
The Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA) had previously served noticed of industrial action in March. However, it was suspended after the group was invited into new talks under the dispute resolution mechanism of the Building Momentum Public Service Pay Agreement.
According to the MLSA, there was no satisfactory outcome from the talks, leading the union to go ahead with industrial action.
The union, which represents 1,800 medical scientists in hospitals around the country, has said the problems with pay and development is continuing to impact the shortage of medical scientists in the health service.
MLSA Chairperson Kevin O’Boyle said scientists want the issues surrounding pay and career development addressed by the HSE, Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure.
“We regret the difficulties [industrial action] will cause to an already over-burdened health service and to patients awaiting treatment, but there is huge frustration and burn-out among our members because the severe recruitment and retention problems in the sector have been ignored for years,” Mr O’Boyle said.
“Up to 20 per cent of approved medical scientist posts are unfilled in hospitals across the country.
“We have tried to avoid this action but have been left with no alternative.”
The strike action is set to take place from between 8am and 8pm on Wednesday, May 18th.
The MLSA have said that if no progress is made a further two days of action are planned for May 24th and 25th.
The strike will impact routine hospital and GP services as laboratory services will be withdrawn.