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Government must honour agreement with health service support staff to avert strike action – O’Brien

18 June, 2019 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin deputy spokesperson for Public Expenditure & Reform Jonathan O’Brien TD has called on the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to honour agreements made between the Department of Health and support staff and provide the necessary funding.

Speaking this morning, the Cork North-Central TD said:

“Up to 10,000 support staff in the health service are to strike this Thursday, unless the Government honours previous agreements it has made. This includes hospital porters, healthcare assistants, technicians, and chefs working in acute hospitals across the State.

“In 2017, the HSE and Department of Health agreed a job evaluation scheme with these workers to avert strike action. This agreement was facilitated by the oversight body of the Lansdowne Road public service agreement.

“That scheme found that found that these workers are underpaid for the roles they carry out, with their pay failing to match their skill levels. The Government is yet to provide the funding to honour this commitment and this failure has led to possible strike action on Thursday.

“This is unacceptable.

“Before the nurses’ strike action earlier this year, the Government repeatedly stated that the public service pay agreement was paramount. If that agreement is to retain any credibility, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform must provide the funding to honour the agreement that was reached with health sector support staff.” 

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