SIPTU members working as support staff in at least 40 hospitals across the country will begin a ballot for strike action on Monday, 23rd January, in a dispute resulting from breaches of the national public service agreements and their exclusion from concessions provided to other emergency department staff. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “It is deeply regrettable that our members in these hospitals feel compelled to take this action. The hospitals to be balloted have been selected due to our members’ belief that the issues in dispute are particularly acute in these facilities. It is expected that additional hospitals will be added to this initial list of facilities to be balloted. “The failure of the HSE and Department of Health to resolve a number of issues has led to a situation where our members have been forced to contemplate strike action. These issues include a failure by management to adhere to the fully binding provisions of the Lansdowne Road Agreement and Haddington Road Agreement. The most crucial elements that have not been adhered to include to reintroduce a job evaluation scheme, to pay interns or apply incremental credit and double time payments. “The other central issue in this dispute involves the granting of concessions by the HSE and the Department of Health to nurses working in emergency departments which have not been extended to other workers.” He added: “The balloting process will commence on the 23rd January with the result scheduled to be announced on Monday, 13th February. This means there is still ample time for the HSE and Department of Health to address all the outstanding issues of concern for our members, something they have failed to do over the preceding 15 months. “SIPTU has directly communicated our concerns to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris. In response the Minister has called for dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems but this has not led to any genuine action by either the HSE or Department of Health. “In the result of strike action our members will do everything in their power to ensure that the disruption for the public is minimised.”  The initial list of hospitals where SIPTU support staff members will be balloted: Connolly Hospital, DublinCentral Mental Hospital, DublinOur Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, DublinCoombe Women’s and Infants University Hospital, DublinNational Rehabilitation Hospital, DublinRoyal Hospital, Donnybrook, DublinIncorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, DublinCappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, DublinCentral Remedial Clinic, DublinKillarney Community Hospital, Kerry  Tallaght Hospital, DublinBeaumont Hospital, DublinJames' Hospital, DublinMater Hospital, DublinSt. Vincent's Hospital, DublinCavan General Hospital, CavanMullingar General Hospital, WestmeathPortlaoise General Hospital, LaoisDublin Dental Hospital, DublinOur Lady's Hospice and Care Services, DublinSt. Ita's Hospital Portrane, DublinSouth Tipperary General Hospital, TipperarySt Luke's Hospital, KilkennyWexford General Hospital, Wexford  Cork University Hospital, CorkCork University Maternity Hospital, CorkBantry General Hospital, Kerry  Mercy University Hospital, CorkUniversity Hospital KerryLetterkenny University Hospital, DonegalSligo University Hospital, SilgoUniversity Hospital LimerickUniversity College Hospital GalwayMerlin Park Hospital, GalwayMidland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, OffalyNaas General Hospital, KildareSt. Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, DublinOur Lady's Hospital, Navan, MeathOur Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda, LouthLouth County Hospital, Dundalk, Louth