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Unite and GHA establish industrial relations forum

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

An industrial relations forum has been established between Unite the Union and the new GHA management team aimed at addressing key issues affecting healthcare workers.

The announcement was made by the GHA’s new Director General, Dr Patrick Geoghegan, on Monday, a week after the first meeting.

“We held our first meeting last week which was well attended by Unite officials and representatives from across the organisation,” Dr Geoghegan said in a statement.

“This is the first of a regular schedule of meetings towards working together to foster a meaningful working relationship and open and honest consultation.”

“Going forward it is essential to maintain open and honest dialogue and problem-solve together, even when we don't entirely agree.”

“I am confident that we all remain committed to providing high standards of patient care.”

Over the past few months there has been growing dissatisfaction among healthcare workers which has led to several departments declaring selective industrial action.

A demonstration was planned last month but this had to be postponed due to concerns over the growing number of Covid-19 cases with the spread of the Omicron variant in the community.

“Unite the Union officials and union representatives from across the GHA were in attendance to raise overarching concerns of a contractual nature, staff resources, organisational structure and engaging in consultation to establish clearer and better policies that oversee these matters,” a spokesman for Unite said in a statement.

“Unite the Union welcomed the commitment from the Director General to establish clear time frames on responses on specific departmental issues raised on Monday’s meeting to be received by the close of business on Friday February 4, 2022.”

“At this time the selective industrial action of non-uniform remains amongst Nursing, Industrials and Dentistry grades.”

“Unite looks forward into entering constructive negotiations with the GHA over the coming weeks to tackle the broader concerns on policies, and establishing clear rules of practice over contracts, resources and structures within the organisation to support staff and the patients they care for.”

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