Calls on government to fund 20% vacant posts and end recruitment crisis
People Before Profit today highlighted a motion that will be debated in the Dáil tomorrow, Wednesday, during the groups Private Members Time, on the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA) strike.
The motion calls for the government to meet the pay parity and recruitment demands of the MLSA.
In addition, it calls on the government to rebuild the testing capacity within the public health system and to end the outsourcing of testing to the private sector. It was the MLSA in 2006 that warned about the risks of a government decision to outsource to the United States and the loss of skills to the state that this would cause. Unfortunately, their warnings went unheeded.
Speaking on the motion, Gino Kenny TD, People Before Profit’s health spokesperson, said: “This government, and successive governments, have treated the medical scientist workers in a shameful and disgraceful manner. They have been denied pay parity for 21 years, and now their modest demands of an 8% increase are being resided by the HSE, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the government.
“It’s twenty one years since the Report of the Expert Group on Medical Laboratory Technician/Technologist Grades recommended pay parity between medical scientists and clinical biochemists. It’s 21 years too since the HSE and Department of Health accepted that recommendation.
“Medical scientists are the hidden heroes of the health service. They are the people who process test samples for Covid, who do blood tests, test urine and stool samples, and they have been under intense pressure during the Covid crisis.
“They perform a crucial part of the public health system, yet 1 in 5 medical scientist positions remain vacant.”
People Before Profit TD, and spokesperson on employment, Paul Murphy, said: “It’s an established fact that MLSA members are paid on average 8% less than their colleagues doing the same work. But here we are, with the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association having to take industrial action for only the second time in its 60 year history.
“We were on the picket lines with MLSA members again this morning. They are angry but they are resolute and they have public support.
“MLSA members will be coming into the Dáil gallery for the debate on the motion. We want the government to tell them that their pay-parity award will finally be honored and their 8% pay increase implemented immediately.”