SIPTU seeks commitment on pay restoration for low and middle income health workers

SIPTU is seeking a commitment from the Government that the pay of low and middle-income health workers will be the first to be restored, as measures introduced during the economic emergency are unwound.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Any phased or structured approach by Government to restore the pay of public sector workers must put low and middle earners first in the queue.

“We are campaigning across the union to get low and middle earners back the money that was taken out of their pockets during the financial emergency so they can contribute to the local economy and share in the emerging recovery.”

SIPTU is the largest health union in the country with a majority of its members in this sector earning under €35,000 per annum.

 Paul Bell added: “Our members are the backbone of the health service and have shown tremendous resolve and fortitude throughout the financial emergency and deserve recognition for that from the Government. They have suffered a great deal in terms of cuts, pension levies and other charges and their sacrifices must be acknowledged. SIPTU members are campaigning hard to win better health care for patients and to make sure they are first in the queue for full pay restoration.”

Listen back to interview with Paul Bell on LMFM

SIPTU President calls for 5% wage increases and sharp rise in minimum wage

SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor has said that in the coming months his union will embark on a major campaign for pay increases of 5% across the economy. In a speech at Glasnevin Cemetery today (Saturday 31st January) to mark the commemoration of the death of Jim Larkin in 1947, the SIPTU president also said that the union would also engage in a “in a new battle to establish a minimum living wage of €11.45 an hour across all those sectors of the economy where the gross exploitation of vulnerable workers is the order of the day.”

He added that SIPTU members will also engage in “a national campaign to apply pressure on the Government to commence the task of abolishing the Universal Social Charge and replacing it with a new mechanism which will be equally efficient as a means of raising revenue from the better off while removing the burden on those on low to middle incomes.”

Welcoming the dramatic election victory of Syriza in Greece last weekend he said that it signalled the end of nightmare of the one-sided austerity experiment across Europe.

“The intellectual case for one-sided austerity is utterly redundant.  It didn’t work in theory and now we know, at horrendous cost, that it doesn’t work in practice either.  The experiment has been tried and failed spectacularly.  That analysis is no longer restricted to those on the Left but is clearly evident across the mainstream of the political spectrum,” he said.

The SIPTU President called for a new ‘concordat’ between labour and capital which would replicate the great post war settlement that resulted in more than a generation of unprecedented and consistent economic growth, raising living standards in Western Europe to a greater degree than had ever been experienced before over a similar timeframe in recorded history.

In the approach to the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Jack O’Connor also called on Irish social democrats, left republicans and independent socialists to set aside sectarian divisions and to “develop a political project aimed at winning the next General Election on a common platform, let’s call it ‘Charter 2016’.”  He said that it must set out what an alternative left of centre government “would be for as distinct to what we are against.”

SIPTU to seek 5% pay rises across public and private sectors

SIPTU wants abolition of Universal Social Charge

SIPTU calls for 5% pay hikes for workers


Call for pay rises for all workers

SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, has called for pay rises for workers across the private and public sectors as the economy makes a faster than expected recovery.

In response to the employers’ organisation, IBEC, stating that the majority of its members will implement pay rises averaging 2% over the coming year, O’Connor, told RTE News on Friday (2nd January), SIPTU hopes the rises would be greater and more widespread.

He said: “We hope to do better. We would hope that more workers would be covered and we hope that we will do better than 2% given the substantial increase in productivity since 2009”.

O’Connor has also called for early talks between unions and the Government on pay restoration for public sector workers.

O’Connor said that the faster than expected recovery should see the Government enter negotiations well in advance of the Haddington Road Agreement expiring next year.

He said: “We’re now expecting to record growth this year of something between 4.5-5.5%, depending on which commentator you’re listening to. That’s considerably in advance of where everybody expected we would be.So if the recovery is running a year ahead, then we should be looking at rolling back the pay cuts across the economy”.

SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser Paul Bell supports the calls for pay restoration and told that income recovery for health workers has always been at the heart of the Better Health Care, Better Jobs campaign. 

“Our members have been in the firing line over the last number of painful years of recession. They have had their pay cut, they have been doing the job of two or three workers and been under constant pressure to deliver a quality standard of care to the most vulnerable people in our society.  

Our members in the health service deserve decent jobs and a secure livelihood to support themselves and their families and they should be first in the queue now that the economy is turning the corner”