Government inviting industrial chaos in vital care sector as it denies legitimate pay restoration for workers
Labour Finance spokesperson Joan Burton has said it is beyond time that the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe responded to the concerns of Section 39 workers before a strike becomes inevitable in these vital health services after the failure to address the issue in the Budget, or HSE service plan for 2018.
Deputy Burton said:
“The Government is boasting of the success of a growing and stable economy while it denies vital pay restoration to thousands of workers in Section 39 organisations. This is inviting industrial chaos into a vital care sector.
“For over six months I have been raising in the Dáil the concerns of Section 39 workers across organisations such as hospices, community care and rehab facilities, and the Irish Wheelchair Association. These bodies took pay cuts through their block grant in the crash alongside similar reductions in the public service but have not seen similar pay restoration through their grants.
“With these vital services now on the brink of strike action in February, it’s beyond time for Minister Donohoe to engage with Section 39 workers and ensure this situation is resolved. Neither the Budget, the public service pay bill nor the HSE service plan for 2018 has addressed this problem.
“Those workers have a legitimate expectation of pay restoration at the same rate and at the same time as the rest of the public service.
“Dialogue is now needed and only the Minister for Public Expenditure can address this issue. I’ve been raising this for some time and I am disappointed at the lack of action from Government.
“The sums are not insurmountable, the representatives of the works are open to talks, but instead the Minister is burying his head in the sand.
“Around 10,000 workers are impacted by the decision to cut the block grants in 2010 leading to reductions in pay in Section 39 bodies. Now it is time this was addressed and only Minister Donohoe can do so.”