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Thousands of healthcare workers to go on strike on Valentine's Day

Section 39 organisations are voluntary organisations who have service legal agreements with the HSE.

SIPTU members Liz Cloherty, Maria Power and Stephanie Lee calling on Government to give Section 39 workers’ pay justice outside Leinster House in November.
SIPTU members Liz Cloherty, Maria Power and Stephanie Lee calling on Government to give Section 39 workers’ pay justice outside Leinster House in November.
Image: SIPTU/RollingNews.ie

SIPTU MEMBERS EMPLOYED by Section 39 healthcare organisations have voted 97% in favour of striking on 14 February.

Section 39 organisations are voluntary organisations who have service legal agreements with the HSE to provide health and social care within communities.

Some 12,000 Section 39 workers receive dual salary funding between the HSE and voluntary contributions.

Their main salary funding comes from the HSE through a grant. The grant was cut back in 2010, leading Section 39 salaries to be cut in line with those in the public sector.

Siptu health division organiser,Paul Bell, said:

“The vote provides a clear mandate to strike in the workplaces selected to take part in the initial round of industrial action. The strike action will begin with a one-day stoppage on 14th February. More stoppages will be announced following this initial action.

“The ballot result is an expression of the unprecedented level of both disappointment and anger of our members at the failure of their employers and Government to respect their legitimate entitlement to pay restoration. Our members are also incensed with the lack of a response by their employers and Government to the unanimous vote earlier this month in Dáil Éireann in support of a Fianna Fáil Private Members’ Bill which called for pay restoration for workers in Section 39 organisations.”

Source: SIPTUdigital/YouTube

Siptu has said that while public sector staff are beginning to see pay restoration, that isn’t the case for Section 39 workers.

Pay restoration for thousands of workers providing public services rose again by 1% on 1 January.

The vote affects Rehab Ireland, the Cheshire Foundation, Western Care in County Mayo, St Joseph’s Foundation in County Cork, SOS Kilkenny, Ability West, Wicklow Community and Family Services, SOS Workshops and Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, Curraheen, County Cork.

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