Section 39 audit report vindicates SIPTU pay justice campaign
SIPTU representatives have today (Tuesday, 15th May) demanded that the Government acts on the recommendations of the Health Service Executive (HSE) audit report into Section 39 organisations.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell said: “This report confirms two things. Firstly, that low paid Section 39 workers suffered pay cuts in line with their counterparts in the public service and secondly that the amount of resources required to give Section 39 workers’ pay justice they deserve is entirely manageable.”
“These revelations confirm that immediate intervention is required by the Government to bring about pay justice for thousands of dedicated workers providing vital services to the most vulnerable citizens in our communities throughout the country.
“It is also critical that the Government intervenes to ensure that these vital services are supported and protected. Especially now that they know that many of these skilled workers are securing employment in the HSE and other related agencies, all of whom have applied the terms of the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA).”
He added: “Out the fifty Section 39 organisations, many of whom are household names, like the Rehab Group, the Irish Wheelchair Association and Enable Ireland, only 37 of them saw fit to co-operate with this crucial auditing process. It is now our intention to identify those organisations who chose not to participate and engage with them directly.”
Bell also confirmed that SIPTU will issue a detailed response to the points made by Friday 25th May as requested in the report.
He added: “It is anticipated that SIPTU representatives will reject certain recommendations in the report. For example, the claim that there will be no retrospective pay element for Section 39 workers and that the understanding that monies will be paid this year has been left somewhat in abeyance is unacceptable.
“While SIPTU remains within this process we intend not to reinvoke notice for strike action at this time. However, maintaining this position will depend on meaningful engagement and the acceptance that the Government will provide monies to Section 39 workers no later than the last quarter of 2018.
Furthermore, SIPTU representatives must have a guarantee that pay restoration for Section 39 workers will be completed by the time the PSSA expires in 2020 so as to ensure that such a pay injustice will never occur again for health workers who have established pay linkages with the public service.”