Ignoring health service workers pay demands 'dangerous', says Labour

Ignoring health service workers pay demands 'dangerous', says Labour

Ignoring health service workers who are set to strike and their pay demands is "dangerous", Labour warns.

As an estimated 10,000 HSE support workers prepare to walk out of their workplace, the Government has been advised to settle a pay dispute rather than confront frustrated employees.

A number of Fine Gael TDs earlier today had strong words and criticisms for the HSE support staff who this week abandoned negotiations with the Government and agencies.

The main issue was that only a fraction of the €16m in pay demands sought were put on the table at the talks.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin accused the Government of "reneging on its promise" to restore pay levels with the workers, after it accepted cuts and allowance decreases during the crash.

Mr Howlin said Fine Gael is trying to "repolish their fiscal rectitude” after overspending on projects but that this is “dangerous” when negotiating with trade unions.

It is “wholly unacceptable” that the State is now rowing back on a commitment to pay the workers in attempts to renegotiate the salary terms, added the Labour leader.

The Government should accept that €16m is due to be paid over, he insisted.

Elsewhere, the Opposition party has called for better terms and pay for the "unsung heroes" who are carers in Ireland.

Labour TD Willie Penrose will lead a Dáil private members motion this week calling for better pay and supports for the thousands of carers in Ireland.

He said the average pay is €290 for a carer but that supplements for hospital beds or even nursing home care are multiples of this.

“For the past 20 years, we have had carers on the cheap. They don't need to be canonised, they need support,” argued the Labour TD.

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