SIPTU, the union with national negotiation rights for healthcare assistants (HCAs) in Ireland, will be reaching out to HCAs in Galway University Hospital today (21st September) as part of a campaign to encourage them to join the union and ensure their role is recognised and respected. Union representatives will be on the site of Galway University Hospital on Thursday, speaking to HCAs about the value of joining SIPTU, and sharing information on their rights and entitlements in the workplace. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Pat Flannery, said: "The role of the HCA is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. What was once considered an auxiliary role is now fundamental to the delivery of direct patient care. In recent years, the HSE Support Grade Job Evaluation Scheme deemed that the role warranted being re-banded to a higher rate of pay, and that, in turn, has led to its evolution.  "Our union successfully negotiated for a full review of the HCA role, which was published in 2018. It recommended that resources should be made available for ongoing training and development of HCAs. In addition, it said that the possibility of having HCAs as a professionally registered grade would be explored alongside further career pathways. The union is working hard to make sure the recommendations of that report are fully implemented. "SIPTU does not just represent HCAs in the public service, it also represents HCAs in the Section 39 sector and private sector. We encourage carers in every employment and setting to join SIPTU."