A Donegal woman has launched a petition calling for ‘fairness and equality’ for domestic staff at all Irish hospitals.
Leanne Crumlish made the call on the popular Change.Org website.
Support staff at all hospitals were recently evaluated for their daily roles.
Some of them, such as porters and catering employees, received their band increase.
However, the household/domestic department remains at the bottom of the ladder, on Band 4, and not currently being considered for such an upgrade or pay rise.
“We feel very undervalued and disrespected by this decision and want it overturned,” Ms Crumlish said.
“We work extremely hard, we are the extra eyes and ears for medical staff, we are kind and empathetic, we are the happy faces that brighten up a lot of patients’ days, we are important and no healthcare setting could function without us. When you needed us we were there, now we need you!”
Anyone who wishes to sign the petition can do so by clicking HERE.
When contacted, a spokesperson for the Saolta Hospital Group said they ‘do not comment on staff related matters’.
Meanwhile, another domestic staff member at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) has written a powerful letter in relation to the same issue.
The woman, who does not wish to be named, said support workers feel ‘completely discriminated against’ as they have not been deemed eligible for a role upgrade and a pay increase.
You can read the letter in full, below:
“I’m writing as an employee of the HSE domestic staff at Letterkenny Hospital.
I’m not sure if you’re aware of the current job evaluation that’s been ongoing in the HSE.
But, the outcome of the evaluation has left domestic staff feeling completely discriminated against.
We do the job to the best of our ability and go above and beyond to help in every job that we do – we are not just cleaners.
I am 19 years in the hospital and my job has changed so much in those years. I’m only going to touch on Covid as an example. I went from working on a medical ward one day and was told ‘Medical 3 is now a Covid Ward.’
We had no idea what this meant, but we were scared.
I am a single mother with two children. I have two elderly parents who were caregivers for my children while I worked above and beyond my normal hours and duties.
I know people think we are ‘just cleaners’ – I am not just a cleaner.
I am the person that went into the wards with no PPE gear. I am a person that has a face when all the nurses, healthcare assistants and catering staff were going in gowned from head to toe with no face visible. I’m the person that held their hand when they were dying, when they had no family allowed in. I was the person who talked to them. I am the person who held my mobile phone to their ear so they could speak to their families.
I am important and I am proud to say that I am one of the domestic staff.
All we were asking for is to be valued in the same way as the rest of our support staff and to be treated with fairness and equality.”Tags: