SIPTU Health will begin balloting up to 17,000 members working as Health Care Assistants, Chefs, Laboratory Aides, Theatre Operatives and in other support grades including those working in catering, household, portering, patient transport and security services, for strike action in 36 major hospitals from next Monday (22nd April). SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The move to extend the ballot for strike action from selected hospitals to include all members in support grades follows a meeting of the SIPTU Health Support Sector Committee on Thursday (11th April).  “It is clear that tensions have been heightened by the recent HSE decision to introduce an overtime ban and announce a three month recruitment embargo, putting additional pressure on staff. Our members have played by the rules and waited since 2015 for the Government to honour, in full, a job evaluation process that was negotiated as part of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.” He added: "The members of the SIPTU Health Support Sector Committee believe that the totality of the job evaluation scheme is now compromised. Our members’ confidence in the Public Service Stability Agreement has also been severely undermined and they are actively questioning its future.” The result of the ballot will be announced on Thursday 16th May.