SIPTU representatives are involved in ongoing discussions with the management of St James’s Hospital concerning major changes at the institution. These include the opening of a new unit in Inchicore and the building of the new National Children’s Hospital on the site. Lead SIPTU Shop Steward in St James’s Hospital, Paddy Dingle, said: “We are currently in talks over the process of members moving to work at the new facility in Inchicore. We want to ensure it is done through agreement and in a manner which benefits the hospita and its patients.” The new unit of St James’s in Inchicore is a revamped HSE building and will be used for the treatment of long-term patients. Negotiations concerning the movement of workers to the new facility are being undertaken within the parameters of the Haddington Road Agreement. Issues arising for the approximately 750 SIPTU members from all grades of staff who work in the hospital are discussed at the 18-strong monthly shop stewards committee. SIPTU representatives= have secured a commitment from the Development Board that local people will be employed on apprenticeship schemes in the construction of the new children’s hospital. SIPTU is also organising at the hospital. “We’re attempting to sign up to the union new non-medical interns that are being taken on to work at the hospital,” Dingle said. “Under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement, the costly approach of hiring agency staff is being replaced by recruiting interns who will then work up the grades as full members of staff.”