SIPTU to ballot members in Section 39 organisations on strike action
SIPTU members working in a range of Section 39 organisations, providing health and social care services, will be balloted next week for all-out strike action in a dispute concerning equal pay.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The failure of the Government to commit to a process to restore the pay of Section 39 organisation workers in line with HSE staff and others providing the same services is utterly unacceptable.
“The Government position is inexplicable when it is taken into account that the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has accepted that there is a ‘long standing’ link between Section 39 workers and the public service which ‘should be honoured’. Minister of State with Responsibilities for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, has also committed to support the call for pay equality for Section 39 workers.”
He added: “Since the beginning of our campaign for pay justice the Department of Finance and the Department of Health have simply passed the buck between themselves, it would seem in a hope that the legitimate concerns of our members will just go away. That is not going to happen. Our members’ resolve is strong and the feeling on the ground is that a national strike next month is now unavoidable.
“However, there is still time for the Government to do the decent thing, to listen to reason and the numerous public representatives who support our members’ campaign. The Government must commit to dialogue and a process of restoring our members’ pay. If this is not done our members will have no option but to engage in industrial action which will, unfortunately, impact services and service users.”