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Cleaners Protesting Outside Ardkeen

  • 28-02-2020 9:16pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,513 ✭✭✭ Motivator


    I was in the hospital this afternoon and on the way in I passed an angry group of people protesting about their pay. I understand these people are meant to be the cleaners in the hospital? My word, some of these people look as if they can’t clean themselves never mind a public hospital. What exactly are they complaining about? I was speaking to a hospital employee who said it got very heated because someone had said to the group that if they did a proper job cleaning then they’d get a proper wage.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,731 ✭✭✭ BBM77


    There is something a bit too much about them alright. Seems to be a very militant group behind the strike. On the first day they were blocking Nursery Lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,665 ✭✭✭ Fann Linn


    Motivator wrote: »
    I was in the hospital this afternoon and on the way in I passed an angry group of people protesting about their pay. I understand these people are meant to be the cleaners in the hospital? My word, some of these people look as if they can’t clean themselves never mind a public hospital. What exactly are they complaining about? I was speaking to a hospital employee who said it got very heated because someone had said to the group that if they did a proper job cleaning then they’d get a proper wage.

    You should have asked them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 824 ✭✭✭ debok


    Fann Linn wrote: »
    You should have asked them.

    Yeh it would seem easier to ask them and get an informed answer from the strikers themselves when he was passing than to come on to a message board anonymously


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,439 ✭✭✭ Mysterypunter


    That hospital is in a mess, security men out there who think they are cops. Tough conditions for anyone to work in


  • Registered Users Posts: 38,249 ✭✭✭✭ Guy:Incognito


    They should start telling people how much they will be paid before they start working in places so they can avoid getting angry afterwards..........


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,665 ✭✭✭ Fann Linn


    They should start telling people how much they will be paid before they start working in places so they can avoid getting angry afterwards..........

    Well, in fairness, yesterday's CSO wage figures did state that the services sector were the most poorly paid in the state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35 wsopchamp


    Fann Linn wrote: »
    Well, in fairness, yesterday's CSO wage figures did state that the services sector were the most poorly paid in the state.

    Long term cleaners out there are on well above minimum wage,€13+PH.a lot of people might find that good pay nowadays .
    lot of confusion among hospital staff as to why exactly they are out ( pay ,change of work practice ??)
    but as long as there is a picket on gate a lot of people wont pass and unfortunately for all concerned this may drag out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,665 ✭✭✭ Fann Linn


    wsopchamp wrote: »
    Long term cleaners out there are on well above minimum wage,€13+PH.a lot of people might find that good pay nowadays .
    lot of confusion among hospital staff as to why exactly they are out ( pay ,change of work practice ??)
    but as long as there is a picket on gate a lot of people wont pass and unfortunately for all concerned this may drag out.

    According to CSO qtr 4 2019 Earnings and Labour costs survey, the wages for Accommodation and Food Services staff is €381 avg per week.
    The lowest in the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,502 ✭✭✭ spookwoman


    Here is what union says https://unitetheunionireland.org/2020/02/27/waterford-hospital-cleaners-strike-continues-following-breakdown-of-talks-with-momentum/
    February 27th: Over 125 Unite members working for cleaning services provider Momentum at University Hospital Waterford remain on strike today (Thursday) following the overnight breakdown of talks at the WRC. The dispute centres around unilateral changes to workers’ conditions imposed by Momentum after it took over the provision of cleaning services at the hospital from ISS. Cleaning workers at the hospital transferred from ISS to Momentum under TUPE last September.

    Pointing out that the company’s flagrant disregard for accepted industrial relations procedures is in conflict with the HSE’s own processes, Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly called on the HSE to intervene in the dispute and remind Momentum of its obligations:


    “By imposing unilateral changes, such as changes to shift patterns, without consultation Momentum has driven a coach and four through accepted industrial relations procedures. The company’s behaviour is contrary not only to usual procedures at University Hospital Waterford, but is also in conflict with the HSE’s own processes.

    “Momentum’s intransigence led to talks at the WRC collapsing overnight and members will now discuss next steps in this dispute. Cleaning workers play a critical role in any hospital, and are determined to be treated with respect.

    “The HSE bears ultimate responsibility for the behaviour of contractors in our health system, and I would urge them to intervene in this dispute and remind Momentum of its obligation to observe normal industrial relations procedures in its dealings with workers”, Tony Kelly concluded.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭ barraseaclaid


    From what I can see (and you can take it or leave it): the workers who transferred over from ISS to momentum are upset because they are now being held to account over their existing work practices which to put it bluntly, are not up to scratch!
    Some personal observations (as a long term hospital employee, obviously don't want to give too much identifying information)
    - Female cleaning staff in certain areas of the hospital not empting domestic bins/waste stating that "that is man's work"
    - Staff on a four hour shift (4.30pm to 8.30pm approx) standing around until they can gain access to office areas at 5pm (ISS tried to change the shift times to match office hours but there were IR issues around this)
    -Same staff on shift above on tea break for up to 30min (no entitlement to same based on length of shift, but just enough time to watch their nightly dose of Corrie before heading home)

    - during washing of floors staff washing around desk chairs and not moving them to wash underneath, generally doing the bare minimum to ensure the supervisor doesn't cotton on)

    My personal highlight....
    During one of the recent "switch it off" campaigns to reduce the hospital's energy impact I asked the cleaner if they could switch off the lights on the way out of a room after cleaning it. They refused as they are not paid to do it!!!!

    During the strike momentum have drafted in auxillary staff to cover and I hate to say it but where I work has never been cleaner, floors washed, countertops wiped down, glass on doors cleaned, door handles, mirrors surfaces all cleaned, compared with the quick sweep and mop of the usual crowd.

    And as far as the actions of the strikers themselves...they should be ashamed of their carry on. When the nurses were out they did it in a dignified and peaceful manner.

    These guys have so far:
    Blocked the footpath for wheelchair users at the main entrance by parking a car on the footpath at the zebra crossing
    Stopped antenatal patients from driving through the picket to get to their appointments
    Blocked vans delivering blood to the hospital from getting through until security were called to escort.

    Whatever level of understanding I had for these guys by means of a peaceful picket has been eroded by these actions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,013 ✭✭✭ hardybuck


    I have to say that I was appalled by the hygiene standards in WRH when visiting a family member recently.

    It felt like everything had a layer of dirt on it. My sister nearly cried when she saw the state of the toilets on the wards.

    Got said family member out of WRH and into another hospital and the difference was huge. Toilet sealed and covered for new patients and everything spotless.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,513 ✭✭✭ Motivator


    From what I can see (and you can take it or leave it): the workers who transferred over from ISS to momentum are upset because they are now being held to account over their existing work practices which to put it bluntly, are not up to scratch!
    Some personal observations (as a long term hospital employee, obviously don't want to give too much identifying information)
    - Female cleaning staff in certain areas of the hospital not empting domestic bins/waste stating that "that is man's work"
    - Staff on a four hour shift (4.30pm to 8.30pm approx) standing around until they can gain access to office areas at 5pm (ISS tried to change the shift times to match office hours but there were IR issues around this)
    -Same staff on shift above on tea break for up to 30min (no entitlement to same based on length of shift, but just enough time to watch their nightly dose of Corrie before heading home)

    - during washing of floors staff washing around desk chairs and not moving them to wash underneath, generally doing the bare minimum to ensure the supervisor doesn't cotton on)

    My personal highlight....
    During one of the recent "switch it off" campaigns to reduce the hospital's energy impact I asked the cleaner if they could switch off the lights on the way out of a room after cleaning it. They refused as they are not paid to do it!!!!

    During the strike momentum have drafted in auxillary staff to cover and I hate to say it but where I work has never been cleaner, floors washed, countertops wiped down, glass on doors cleaned, door handles, mirrors surfaces all cleaned, compared with the quick sweep and mop of the usual crowd.

    And as far as the actions of the strikers themselves...they should be ashamed of their carry on. When the nurses were out they did it in a dignified and peaceful manner.

    These guys have so far:
    Blocked the footpath for wheelchair users at the main entrance by parking a car on the footpath at the zebra crossing
    Stopped antenatal patients from driving through the picket to get to their appointments
    Blocked vans delivering blood to the hospital from getting through until security were called to escort.

    Whatever level of understanding I had for these guys by means of a peaceful picket has been eroded by these actions.

    That is shocking but not very surprising. The hygiene in Ardkeen has been appalling for years now and the personal hygiene of some of the cleaning staff leaves a lot to be desired. I had a brief stay as a patient a number of years ago and the cleaner used the same rag to clean the windows, the sink, taps and then the trays on each of the beds in the ward.

    I didn’t know the exact reason why they were protesting this week but if it’s for the reasons you stated above then that it absolutely outrageous. They are not HSE staff, they’re bottom of the pile so why not sack them all and bring in people who will actually do the job they are being paid to do?


  • Registered Users Posts: 570 ✭✭✭ azimuth17


    I went to collect a relative from Ardkeen. Both entrances had very aggressive picketing. Those involved should make their protest at the main entrance and leave the side entrance free. Unite should tell them its a massive public health facility they work in at a time of possible virus pandemic, not the glass factory. No cop on I'm afraid, no matter how justified their case may or may not be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭ dlnv27


    I am one of the people on the picket line. I have done duty on all 4 entrances to the UHW. No has been stopped entering the hospital. Green Star have been passing collecting the waste compactors. All suppliers to the catering and all courier deliveries to other parts of the hospital have driven passed pickets with no problems. I have to say the cleaner bashing is really starting to kick in. We just want to do our job but when you have Momentum support ignoring the TUPE agreement seemingly with the full support of senior hospital management, we have no other option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭ vriesmays


    A strike in Waterford, seen it all now.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,862 ✭✭✭ Dayton Rhythmic Server


    dlnv27 wrote: »
    I am one of the people on the picket line. I have done duty on all 4 entrances to the UHW. No has been stopped entering the hospital. Green Star have been passing collecting the waste compactors. All suppliers to the catering and all courier deliveries to other parts of the hospital have driven passed pickets with no problems. I have to say the cleaner bashing is really starting to kick in. We just want to do our job but when you have Momentum support ignoring the TUPE agreement seemingly with the full support of senior hospital management, we have no other option.
    Nonsense, utter nonsense.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭ dlnv27


    Can you please tell me what part of this is nonsense


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,013 ✭✭✭ hardybuck


    dlnv27 wrote: »
    Can you please tell me what part of this is nonsense

    For clarity, do you disagree with the points made by the likes of azimuth17 and barraseaclaid?


  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ Crusty Blaa


    A family member is an employee in the hospital and would normally walk into work but the last few days has had to drive in due to the intimidating nature of the picket and also as a result of a few snidey comments being passed her way. She hasn't been the only one on the receiving end of this by all accounts.

    Like another poster said, she hasn't seen the hospital as clean since the strike started. Go figure..


  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭ dlnv27


    I would disagree with azimuth17 post. We are picketing all gates into the hospital not to stop people or deliveries. As I said in my previous post I have not seen any vehicle or person stopped from entering the hospital. Regarding barraseaclaid post. The women cleaners are employed to clean and the men are employed to empty the bins. Momentum support have employed women on lower rates of pay and expect them to clean and also empty the bins. Regarding the staff on the evening shift I work days so I could not comment on that. If barraseaclaid is so upset about that they should contact the Momentum support office and let them know what's going on. Regarding the car parked on the footpath, I have to say I have seen that and I totally agree with their opinion.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ notfromhere


    My better half works there, they have told me that people have been spat at , abuse shouted at when walking past the picket .Some people have been stoped from going into work so that they lose a days pay.Blocking of cars, of people trying to get in for appointments.Most of them cleaners never went out with the nurses when they went out, and yet they want everbody out with them.Some not all of them are pure <SNIP> if there were sacked i for one would not lose any sleep.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ mooseknunkle


    My better half works there, they have told me that people have been spat at , abuse shouted at when walking past the picket .Some people have been stoped from going into work so that they lose a days pay.Blocking of cars, of people trying to get in for appointments.Most of them cleaners never went out with the nurses when they went out, and yet they want everbody out with them.Some not all of them are pure <SNIP> if there were sacked i for one would not lose any sleep.

    I seen something on twitter that said there is a ballot for an all out strike for all Unite members on Monday,if everything you and others are saying is true,then there will be very little support for the cleaners.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29 bluess99


    dlnv27 wrote: »
    . As I said in my previous post I have not seen any vehicle or person stopped from entering the hospital......Regarding the car parked on the footpath, I have to say I have seen that and I totally agree with their opinion.

    I had an appointment in UHW onTuesday morning, didn't know the strike was on till I got to the roundabout. Protesters stepped out in front of the car ahead of me, making them brake suddenly, causing me to stop and the cars behind to stop blocking the yellow box and holding up all the traffic. When the car in front moved and I went to pass at least six women jumped out on the road blocking me. Two women banged the bonnet on my car and pointed to the signs they were carrying. I was considering not passing the picket, but with the aggression shown I have no sympathy for them. And again on the way out two cars parked half on footpath half on the road blocking traffic making two people on crutches and one in a wheelchair entering the hospital by having to use the road with a bus right behind them.

    In my opinion there are ways to make a statement but the carry on I saw is not and it lost any support I had for them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,513 ✭✭✭ Motivator


    dlnv27 wrote: »
    I would disagree with azimuth17 post. We are picketing all gates into the hospital not to stop people or deliveries. As I said in my previous post I have not seen any vehicle or person stopped from entering the hospital. Regarding barraseaclaid post. The women cleaners are employed to clean and the men are employed to empty the bins. Momentum support have employed women on lower rates of pay and expect them to clean and also empty the bins. Regarding the staff on the evening shift I work days so I could not comment on that. If barraseaclaid is so upset about that they should contact the Momentum support office and let them know what's going on. Regarding the car parked on the footpath, I have to say I have seen that and I totally agree with their opinion.

    Funnily enough I heard this morning that a brick was thrown at a car/van out there the other day. Sack all of them, wasters.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 824 ✭✭✭ debok


    dlnv27 wrote: »
    I am one of the people on the picket line. I have done duty on all 4 entrances to the UHW. No has been stopped entering the hospital. Green Star have been passing collecting the waste compactors. All suppliers to the catering and all courier deliveries to other parts of the hospital have driven passed pickets with no problems. I have to say the cleaner bashing is really starting to kick in. We just want to do our job but when you have Momentum support ignoring the TUPE agreement seemingly with the full support of senior hospital management, we have no other option.

    Nothing against ye striking but why are public service workers employed by the HSE like porters maintenance etc out picketing an issue against a private company. Ye didn't give a flying fack about the nurses and passed in by them.The nurses were on strike nobody was made to feel like they couldn't pass picket. The attitude and dirty looks have turned a lot of people against you even if your issues are genuine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ notfromhere


    Oh i forgot to say, that there are calling people scabs when they pass the picket line.Some of the people that pass have to go into work they can't afford to lose a days pay.scabs is such a horrible dirty word they should be ashamed of themselves.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ mooseknunkle


    debok wrote: »
    Nothing against ye striking but why are public service workers employed by the HSE like porters maintenance etc out picketing an issue against a private company. Ye didn't give a flying fack about the nurses and passed in by them.The nurses were on strike nobody was made to feel like they couldn't pass picket. The attitude and dirty looks have turned a lot of people against you even if your issues are genuine.

    If the porters maintenance etc are Unite members then they have to stand in solidarity with their fellow union members regardless if they are public service or private employees.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭ dlnv27


    Damien tiernan has been covering this issue nearly every morning this week. If all this threatening behaviour and damaging of cars was happening do you not think the phone to WLR would be hopping.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,502 ✭✭✭ spookwoman


    hardybuck wrote: »
    I have to say that I was appalled by the hygiene standards in WRH when visiting a family member recently.

    It felt like everything had a layer of dirt on it. My sister nearly cried when she saw the state of the toilets on the wards.

    Got said family member out of WRH and into another hospital and the difference was huge. Toilet sealed and covered for new patients and everything spotless.

    It's well known that the standard of hygiene is abysmal in WRH and I don't think people have much sympathy. Know someone who's child was in there years back and they went home and brought in their own cleaning equipment to clean the room, it was that bad. This lady is Italian and said she had never seen anything so bad.
    My own experiences over the years. One young woman I'd say about 20 or so spent the hour while I was waiting stopping other cleaners and telling them how she was getting off early. Any time a doctor or nurse appeared she scuttled back to work for as long as she could be seen. As soon as they turned the corner she was back looking for staff to talk to.
    A+E late one night young woman came in a twisted ankle, put her foot on the edge of the bench ( just the 2 of us waiting) and the cleaner just came over and pulled the bench from under her foot letting it slap off the ground. There was sweet wrappers and some papers on the floor and to make it worse she left most of the dirt there before moving off.
    I've only ever seen one clear there with her head down and was meticulous cleaning one of the surgical wards.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,652 ✭✭✭ Royal Legend


    Have to say I am totally disgusted with some of the comments on this particular thread. I can't speak for all the cleaners, only for the ones i know, but the level of nastiness on here is appalling, i can understand why they stand up for themselves when people on here treat them like dirt on the bottom of their shoes. There is one particular poster on here making some wild allegations in relation to intimidation and calling people evil and wanting them all sacked. There is a serious level of keyboard warrior on this thread, one with an agenda and another who seems to be a newbie.

    First of all they do not earn €13 + per hour, they earn €10.80 + a site rate of €1.49 = 12.29/hr. Most are part time workers so are not working 39 hours per week either. Momentum since they won the contract have been spoiling for a fight. they have brought in people from up the country on minimum wage and are only willing to pay this rate. would any of you that are so high and mighty in your opinion of the lower working class accept minimum wage to clean in the hospital? Some of these people are single mothers and rely on this job for an income, so do you think they are taking this action lightly. P.S We can all find fault in anything we want to, there are plenty of people who do very little and get paid a hell of a lot more in the hospital, some of your time would be more well spent highlighting these people rather than the easy target of the lower working class.

    In relation to the porters and the kitchen staff, they came out in support yesterday, but the HSE has taken out an injunction against them and is threatening to sack them if they join the industrial action. They are having a meeting about this on Monday. Whatever decision they make will be personal and with the threat of the sack hanging over them, not a nice or an easy decision to make.

    A relation of mine has been on the picket all week, in the area where they work none of the staff have any issue with cleanliness of the area etc, in fact this person is held in high regard by the consultants, nurses and doctors in their area and also did not along with a lot of their colleagues pass the picket by the Nurses in their action... There has been no throwing of stones or rocks at cars, no spitting at people, no blocking of cars entering or leaving, no intimidation, that is pure and utter fabrication.

    As someone pointed out earlier, if there was this type of aggression then surely someone would have brought it up on Damien Tiernans radio program? Also if its true then someone should ask the Garda, who by the way are passing by the hospital on a regular basis, to see has anyone reported this so called intimidation. Nobody on the picket has heard people being called scabs, nobody has blocked wheelchair access, nobody has blocked any service traffic. it is a peaceful picket. If staff are so intimidated then how is it that staff from inside the hospital are bringing out tea and sandwiches to the ladies on the picket all week?

    What gets me is one, there seems to be a deliberate campaign either by Momentum or certain parties in the hospital to sully the name of the cleaners, some of it is going on here with people calling local people scum and evil. Secondly, it also appears that certain people on here think cleaners are second class citizens, like i stated earlier, maybe you should try their job for a week and see what you think.

    By the way, Momentum have been taking on this so called auxillary staff with no Garda vetting which is paramount in relation to people working in the hospital. won't go into details of that here only to say some local characters with history are part of this auxillary staff and no way could one of them in particular pass any kind of Garda vetting! Also not so sure where people think the hospital is cleaner all of a sudden seeing as some of it is on lock down with the vomiting bug, so no traffic internally plus i have personally seen bags of "mixed" and "clinical" waste thrown all together in a corridor in the hospital beside a patient on a trolley. will post photo later if someone wants clarity.


    What should be looked into is how Momentum ended up with the contract and maybe have a look at their history in other hospitals and maybe also have a deep look at the person who is the common link between them, this and previous Momentum contracts, the background to what is going on here is not as straightforward as some people may think.


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