“The at least 81 cases of Section 38 agency employees who receive payment and perks exceeding the terms of Government Pay Policy and are arguing their entitlements based on contractual terms should enter voluntary compliance and set an example and standard that could be followed by their Section 39 counterparts” stated Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin following today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children convened to address the issue.
Deputy Ó Caoláin, in the course of questioning the Deputy Director General of the HSE Ms. Laverne McGuinness, asked how it was expected that Section 39 high pay recipients would respond to a ‘request to have due regard for overall Government Pay Policy’ when those who are required to adhere to Government Pay Policy were being excused from compliance because of contractual agreements.
“It would appear that anything up to two thirds of the business cases made for so-called ‘red circling’ could yet be approved. This is a serious matter that will undoubtedly allow the much greater number across Section 39 entities to dig in their heels.
“I am calling on all those, and without exception, who are employed in agencies funded under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004 to enter into voluntary acceptance of Government Pay Policy. There should be no exceptions and no one should seek to press for what is morally unacceptable through the use of legally arguable employment terms. They are Public Servants and they are members of public sector pension schemes and should be treated exactly the same as all other public servants and should not seek to place themselves on an elevated platform” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.