The Dail debated a motion calling for pay increases for Section 39 agency staff in line with other public sector workers.
The debate followed a call for the country’s 13,000 Section 39 workers to have the same pay restoration for those workers as agreed for the country’s public servants under the latest public service pay deal.
Watch the debate in full below. The debate begins on the 30 minute mark in part 1.
Reacting to the debate the Rehab Group has welcomed an announcement from Government today aimed at addressing funding restoration for Section 39 workers.
However it said urgent clarity is now required to illustrate how a “process of engagement between the HSE and Section 39 organisations” announced today by Minister of State for Disability, Finian McGrath TD, will find a solution to the issue of Section 39 workers being excluded from the pay restoration process.
Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Fundraising with Rehab Group Kathleen O’Meara said Section 39 workers need to know how long this process will take in light of threatened upcoming industrial action which could dramatically affect vital services.
“It is imperative that staff who are getting up and going to work in the morning and doing the same jobs as a HSE or Section 38 organisation have parity of pay with their counterparts,” she said.
“Section 39 workers shouldered cuts eight years ago amid a floundering economy, and while pay restoration commenced for public sector workers, Section 39 workers have been excluded from this process. This was neither right nor equitable, particularly after a decade of repeated cuts.”
Rehab and other Section 39 organisations provide vital services on behalf of the State. Last year alone more than 10,000 people, including vulnerable children and adults, engaged with Rehab’s community care, respite and training services. A proportion of the people who use Rehab’s services have high support needs and are totally reliant on our services.
“We welcome an announcement of a process of engagement on the issue today, which we hope will lead to the end of this unfair two-tier pay system. However, we are calling for clarity now as to how pay will be restored, in what manner and when. We will continue to monitor this situation and continue to work hard to find a resolution to this issue,” she concluded.