Section 39 pay drive steps up a gear

SIPTU members have stepped up the drive to secure pay justice across Section 39 organisations and look set to take industrial action in early 2018.

 SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Since the beginning of our campaign we have received cross-party support from members of the Oireachtas including Minister of State with Responsibilities for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, Sinn Fein Health spokesperson, Louise O’Reilly, and Labour Health spokesman, Alan Kelly.

However, the Department of Finance and the Department of Health are continuing to pass 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.

He added: “Our members are resolute that they cannot continue to provide first-class healthcare services at third class wages. SIPTU representatives will not accept the Government and HSE attempts to wash their hands of this injustice by saying they are not directly involved in the employment of the Section 39 workers.” 

Patrice Madden, a member of the union from Cork, said: “Section 39 workers had their pay cut by up to 8% in the wake of the financial crisis. They have been left high and dry while other healthcare workers directly employed by the Government in HSE facilities have since had pay restoration. 

“When the pain was being dished out by successive governments it was dished out equally but when the time comes for some pain relief, in the form of pay restoration, up to 10,000 workers like me are left wanting. It’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s not just.”

SIPTU member, Liz Cloherty, from Galway, said: “The current situation is simply untenable. It is a disrespectful way to treat people. All we are asking for is fair treatment. Staff undertake precisely the same work as directly-employed HSE staff and must have the same qualifications. The only difference is in their pay packet. 

“This pay injustice is now so severe that hundreds of workers are quitting the sector, entirely leaving people who rely on the service potentially exposed and vulnerable.”

Section 39 organisations are Government grant-aided organisations which provide disability, mental health and community services. 

 To learn more about the campaign download the SIPTU Health Division App.

SIPTU representatives attend mental health nursing national implementation group

SIPTU representatives attended a mental health nursing national implementation group this morning (Friday, September 9th). This group was established under the terms of the recently negotiated national agreement for mental health nursing, under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission.

The terms of the agreement negotiated provide for a number of measures designed to support recruitment and retention within mental health nursing services.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis said: “This national group will meet fortnightly to monitor and address any roadblocks identified which are causing obstruction to the implementation of the national agreement. SIPTU will be party to all of these meetings. The national group will issue guidance or determinations to address any anomalies/issues arising in an effort to ensure that the implementation of the national agreement is progressed with priority and terms of reference will be agreed in the coming days to provide for same.”

Mr Figgis also said specific admin support will be provided to the group to ensure that appropriate and speedy progression of issues can be secured.

“SIPTU highlighted a number of concerns relating to the permanent contracting of temporary nurses. The HSE has confirmed that it has written to the Chief Officers in all areas outlining the importance of progressing the terms of the national agreement. It was agreed that direct contact will be made in some of the areas identified with a follow-up as appropriate.”

Additional information for members

  • Corporate Employee Relations has confirmed that it has received a number of circulars from the relevant departments which have given effect to a number of points agreed within the national agreement. These include confirmation of pay reference for retirees returning to work in the short term and indeed sanction of the allowance recognising the role in the community.
  • It is expected that a circular will issue in the coming days instructing all HSE areas to give effect to the new allowance recognising the role in the community as and from the 1st September 2016 as per the terms of the national agreement (see below). There is no change for existing beneficiaries of the current ‘Community Allowance’.
  • There is no change for existing beneficiaries of the current ‘Community Allowance’.
  • Corporate Employee Relations also confirmed that correspondence had been issued by the National Director for Mental Health re: replacement posts, timelines for recruitment, overtime rates and increased hours for part-time staff.
  • Corporate Employee Relations confirmed that the additional 60 nurse training places for 2016 have been divided evenly across the 12 areas. There are 5 additional places in each area as confirmed at today’s meeting.

In addition to the above, reference was made to the importance of advancing national engagement on the role of the advanced nurse practitioner and 24/7 Crisis Intervention Teams.

14/07/2016 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Pay survey


SIPTU Health is undertaking this survey in order to get an indication of what workplace issues are affecting our members and your views on pay restoration and pay progression in the public service.

If you have any queries contact email

The names of all those who completed the survey will go into a draw to win an iPad mini. Four winners will be chosen at SIPTU Health Divisional Conference on October 14th.

11/02/2015 Comments are off Health Division

SIPTU Health Activist Training

On Wednesday the 11th of February SIPTU Health Shop Stewards came together in Portlaoise for activist training and get an update on the next steps of the Better Health Care, Better Jobs campaign.

A broad selection of voices and workers within our health service attended the training from Wicklow, Kildare, Laois, Offaly and the wider Midlands area.

There was great energy and enthusiasm in the packed room for the campaign (picture above) and members discussed how SIPTU members and activists can work together to deliver a fairer, more equitable health service for all.