Section 39 health workers defer strike after intervention from Simon Harris

SIPTU members in Section 39 health and social care agencies have deferred strike action scheduled for this Tuesday, after accepting an invitation to the Workplace Relations Commission.

The union says it's come to the decision following an intervention from the Health Minister Simon Harris.

The workers are seeking full pay restoration after taking a cut along with public servants during the economic crisis.

SIPTU has warned that should the talks be unsuccessful, it will reactivate the strike notice with immediate effect.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said: “In response to the intervention from the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, today and at the request of the WRC, SIPTU representatives have agreed to defer strike action scheduled for Tuesday, 18th September.

“It is through the commitment and collective efforts of our shop stewards and members that this crucial position has been reached.”

He added: “The decision taken by our representatives to defer strike action was not taken lightly and is down to the efforts of the WRC, ICTU and our members’ determination to win pay justice without impacting on the clients they care for.

“The strike action is temporarily deferred and not cancelled. Should the engagement at the WRC not be successful, we will reactivate the strike notice with immediate effect.”

Minister Harris said: "I welcome the deferral of industrial action by SIPTU and I'm pleased that key healthcare services will not be disrupted on Tuesday.

"It is recognised that Section 39 agencies provide vital services to often the most vulnerable in our society.

"I also welcome the reconvening by the Workplace Relations Commission of talks on the issues in dispute. I would like to acknowledge ICTU and the trade unions for their participation in this process. I would encourage all parties to continue to engage with the process being facilitated by the WRC with a view to reaching a satisfactory resolution."

Meanwhile, Fórsa has also accepted an invitation to the WRC for discussions on the section 39 pay issue.

Digital Desk


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