FIANNA Fáil has accused the Government engaging in the “type of hypocrisy that drives people mad” over its stance on pay restoration for hospice and other care workers.
Thousands of employees of organisations contracted by the HSE are planning strike action because they remain on recessionary wages.
The workers in so-called Section 39 bodies took pay cuts in line with HSE staff during the downturn but have not been offered the same pathway to pay restoration.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil today that a process is being put in place to review the situation.
The HSE wants to look at each individual body to compare the block grants received from taxpayer money with their pay policies.
However, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the plan is “insulting to those organisations and it’s a joke”.
He argued the HSE already knows “all of the issues around pay restoration”, adding that workers in the disability sector are being “treated as second class citizens as the government loudly proclaims it’s going to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled”.
“It’s that type of hypocrisy that drives people mad in this country,” he said.
Mr Varadkar acknowledged that the situation is “certainly not fair to the workers” who are caught between the HSE and their employers.
“A differential in pay has now opened up. That is causing an issue for recruitment in some places,” he said.
But Mr Varadkar said: “They are not part of the public service and therefore the people who work for them are not government employees.”
He insisted the only process towards pay restoration was the one already outlined by the Government.