SIPTU Health members demand swift action on pay

SIPTU members endorsed a demand for a new deal on pay for health workers at the union’s recent Health Division Biennial Conference.

Addressing delegates, SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The message from our members to the Government is loud, clear and decisive. We want to reclaim the ground lost since the economic collapse and win a new deal for health that is underpinned by better health care for patients and better jobs for health workers.

“This new deal must include the Government agreeing to accelerated pay restoration, real pay progression and a commitment to pay justice for new entrants to the health service workforce.”

He added: “In preparation for our conference today, over 1,000 SIPTU Health members across the country participated in a targeted workplace survey. These members, drawn from every sector we represent, made their views known concerning what is the number one priority for themselves and their colleagues in the workplace.

“Over 70% of survey respondents stated that pay restoration through the abolition of the pension levy, pay progression for low and middle earners and pay justice for new entrants that came into the service during the economic emergency was their primary concern. At this conference, we are publicly delivering this clear message from our members to the Government.”

Liberty View

A resolute determination was evident in union leaders’ addresses and contributions from members, as the conference examined the work done over the last two years and decided on the Division’s future agenda. Delegates discussed the organising campaigns that have successfully brought together Health Care Assistants and workers in the Intellectual Disability Sector to fight for better conditions through their union.The message was clear from more than 200 delegates who attended the SIPTU Health Division Biennial Delegate Conference in Liberty Hall on 13th-14th October – our union has weathered the economic storm and is now set on the path of reclaiming the ground lost by workers in recent years.

Clear demands for speedy pay restoration and increased funding of the public health service solidified around the conference’s slogan of a ‘New Deal for Health’.

However, there was also a focus on the union’s wider social justice mandate with a voluntary worker at a Calais refugee campaign delivering a heart-rending account of conditions there. This ensured that a motion calling on the union to intervene both nationally and internationally to assist the plight of refugees was passed unanimously.

Our members in the health service have set a high standard for enthusiasm and determination which, no doubt, will be maintained by the other divisions of the union as the conference season progresses.

Download a copy of the SIPTU Health BDC agenda HERE

Results of Pay Survey will be announced on Monday, November 7th.

Have your say on the future of our health services

Paul Bell, SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser discusses the future of the Lansdowne Road Agreement