Access to a staff tea-room in Mayo University Hospital (MUH) has the potential to create a major problem in the early days of 2022. That’s was the stark message delivered to management after porters at the hospital were issued with a letter telling them they will no longer have access to their tea-room after Saturday, January 15.
The letter, seen by The Mayo News, says the room will be redeveloped into ‘a clinical space’ and thanks the porters for their engagement in a consultation process.
This has angered a number of the porters, one of whom spoke to The Mayo News, anonymously.
“There was no such thing as consultation. We’re being dictated to, but that’s nothing new in here. It just goes to show what’s thought of frontline workers by the management,” said the porter.
“Along with our colleagues, we go above and beyond what’s required of us because we’re proud of our work and proud to help patients and staff, but this is an absolute kick in the teeth. There’s no acceptable alternative in place. There’s no discussion over what our thoughts are. We’re just told to have everything out of the room by January 15 as the door will be locked after that,” the porter explained.
Earlier this year, a similar situation in Limerick University Hospital where porters were denied access to their tea-room resulted in a number of ‘wildcat’ strikes, but the Castlebar porters are not contemplating such drastic action at the moment.
“We want this sorted out for the good of all. We want to be consulted in a proper manner and discuss the situation with management, instead of being given a letter and told to get on with it,” the porter added.
The Mayo News posed a number of questions regarding the matter to the Saolta Hospital Group, asking about the consultation process, the alternative arrangements put in place and the disquiet among the porters. Saolta replied by saying the group does not discuss staff matters.