Pay Restoration for Section 39 Workers ‘cannot wait any longer’ – O’Brien
Sinn Féin deputy spokesperson for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform Jonathan O’Brien TD has called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to provide for a clear path of pay restoration for Section 39 workers, ahead of negotiations at the Workplace Relations Committee later today.
Speaking today, the Cork North-Central TD said:
“The Government must provide a time-limited road map of pay restoration for Section 39 workers, and it falls upon Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to provide for this road map in the upcoming Budget.
“There are as many as 12,000 workers providing vital health and care services to the most vulnerable in our society. They deliver public services on the same terms and with the same commitment and professionalism as their public sector colleagues.
“Yet, they continue to be subject to the legacy of cuts that was exacted upon them during the austerity era.
“While these cuts have been slowly reversed through a series of agreements with the public sector, Section 39 workers have been continually ignored and left in the cold.
“This is not acceptable. Worker rights cannot be denied at the whim of the Minister for Finance or the Minister for Health.
“An internal HSE audit report confirmed what had long been suspected. The average wage of Section 39 workers has been substantially reduced without redress.
“Many of these workers support themselves and their families on modest incomes. It is imperative that their rights are recognized on the same basis as their public sector colleagues.
“The Government must provide these workers a clear path to pay restoration that reflects the redress offered to public- sector workers through the Public Service Stability Agreement.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael must provide for the pay restoration of Section 39 workers in their upcoming budget. Anything less than this will be judged a failure.”