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HSE support staff to strike on Wednesday due to Fine Gael bad faith – Jonathan O’Brien TD

24 June, 2019 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin’s 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, after talks broke down at the Workplace Relations Commission today.

Speaking today, the Cork North-Central TD said:

“It is disappointing that the Government have failed to honour past agreements in the latest round of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission.

“As a result, 10,000 support staff in the health service will strike this Wednesday. 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.

“Today, the Government offered only a small fraction of the funding necessary to honour the funding of those job evaluation schemes. They also sought to revise the job evaluation scheme, reducing worker entitlements under the previous agreement. 

“The Government repeatedly stated that the public service pay agreement is 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.

“Sinn Féin calls on the Government to enter emergency talks tomorrow in good faith, honour past agreements, and avert strike action on Wednesday.”

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