Section 39 workers deserve respect and pay restoration

17 January 2018

Speaking in advance of the Dáil debate, Labour spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD, has called for the pay of Section 39 workers to be restored in line with their Section 38 colleagues in the public sector. The Labour Party has called for this in the Dáil over the last three months, is supporting today’s motion, and stands with the workers and their trade unions in the campaign for pay restoration.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Thousands of workers across Section 39 bodies provide vital services in communities across Ireland, and deserve the same respect and pay restoration as other publicly funded bodies have implemented. I met with union officials before Christmas, and we in the Labour Party stand with the campaign by SIPTU, Fórsa, UNITE and the INMO for pay restoration for their members.

“While they are not technically considered to be public sector workers, Section 39 employees carry out invaluable work in our hospices,, disability organisations and many other agencies.

“The Labour Party has been highlighting this disparity for a number of months, and we are deeply unhappy at the failure of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Minister for Health to adequately engage with the workers and their representatives.

“The people who rely on these services cannot be let down by the Government who seem intent on washing their hands of the problems.

“It is now a decade since grants to Section 39 organisations were cut during the recession, and while public service pay is being restored, Section 39 workers are still on the reduced wage.

“This is clearly frustrating for them and frankly unfair, especially when their Section 38 colleagues are seeing improvements.

“It is also deeply ironic that this motion has been brought forward by Fianna Fáil who cut the grants to Section 39 bodies in 2010.

“The Government should now move to restore the grants to these organisations, which should in turn be used to begin reversing those wage cuts.”

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