Gavan calls for Pay Restoration for Section 39 Workers
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called for full pay restoration for Section 39 workers. There are 10,000 Section 39 workers employed in Hospices, Community Hospitals, Rehab Facilities. One in ten people employed in the Intellectual Disability Sector are Section 39 workers. They do exactly the same work as HSE employees, but since 2010 have been paid less money.
Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Gavan called for an urgent debate on the issue with the Minister for State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Finian McGrath:
“They are paid less because, in 2010, Fianna Fáil in government cut their wages and since then they have been ignored. Whereas HSE workers have rightly been winning pay restoration, Section 39 workers have not. The 8% pay cut that was imposed on them is still in place.
“I must declare an interest in that I represented a number of these workers in St. Anne's in Roscrea and the Daughters of Charity in Limerick; these workers are now voting with their feet. They are leaving. They are people who work in incredibly challenging situations with some of the most vulnerable people in society and do an amazing job. They go above and beyond the call of duty.
“What is disgraceful is this Government line that they are not the direct employer; that they were not directly employed in 2010 when their pay was cut. That is not an excuse. There are 10,000 of these workers across the State, most of them represented by SIPTU who have been campaigning tirelessly on this issue. The Cabinet must take a decision to restore pay and fairness for these workers because they do exactly the same work as their HSE colleagues.”