Tuesday 22 October 2019

Health support workers vote in favour of Labour Court recommendation to halt industrial action

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell. Photo: Collins
Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell. Photo: Collins

Anne-Marie Walsh

OVER 7,000 health support workers who went on strike this summer have overwhelmingly backed a pay proposal to halt industrial action.

It is understood that the Siptu members backed the deal which by over 95pc in a ballot result that was announced today. The deal means wage hikes of up to 13pc.

In a tweet, Siptu health division said they overwhelmingly endorsed the Labour Court recommendations on a job evaluation scheme.

The court’s recommendation will cost an estimated €16m.

It issued a recommendation to end the dispute, which threatened to cripple the health service.

It recommended increases for workers including porters, cleaning staff and laboratory aides to be paid over three years in a bid to end the row.

Siptu said the proposal that has been accepted means members including porters, cleaners and laboratory aides will get pay rises worth up to 13pc.

They will receive increases backdated to September 1 ranging from 6pc to 13pc under the deal that puts them on higher pay bands.

READ MORE: Over 7,000 hospital support staff in line for pay rises of up to 13pc

This is on top of a 1.75pc pay rise paid to all public servants earlier this month under the current wage deal.

The court also recommended that the union and HSE attend talks on chefs' pay.

Siptu said in a statement that its health service support staff voted by 95.65pc in favour of the recommendation aimed at resolving the dispute over a HSE job evaluation scheme.

It said chefs also voted overwhelmingly by 98pc in favour of the court’s recommendation that could see an improvement to their pay and conditions.

“It was never our members’ desire to engage in strike action but after months of obstruction our members were left with no option but to express themselves and their frustrations,” said health division organiser, Paul Bell.

“Their strength and resolve is the reason we are here today with this emphatic result and a mandate to pursue phases three and four of the job evaluation scheme for support grades and a satisfactory conclusion to an agreed process for chef members.”

He said he expects that the government will respond positively and quickly to the ballot results and members will receive the payments due without delay.

The union had accused the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform of trying to block the implementation of pay rises due under the job evaluation scheme.

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