Staff in State-funded or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vid­ing health and so­cial ser­vices are to go on strike:

Trade unions Siptu and Fórsa serve no­tice for a 24-hour work stop­page

The Irish Times - - Front Page - MARTIN WALL In­dus­try Cor­re­spon­dent

Staff in nearly a dozen State-funded or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vid­ing health and so­cial ser­vices are to go on strike on Fe­bru­ary 21st in a dis­pute over pay restora­tion.

The dis­pute cen­tres on the restora­tion of pay which was cut fol­low­ing the eco­nomic crash for per­son­nel in or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vid­ing health and so­cial care ser­vices which re­ceive State grant aid. The or­gan­i­sa­tions are tech­ni­cally known as Sec­tion 39 bod­ies.

The trade unions Siptu and Fórsa have served no­tice for a 24-hour stop­page at: Delta Care; Na­tional Coun­cil of the Blind In Ire­land; Western Alzheimer’s; St Mary Telford; Co-Ac­tion Bantry; South West Doc­tors; Dublin West Home Care Ser­vices; Terenure Home Care Ser­vices; Crum­lin Home Care Ser­vices; Cam­phill (Wex­ford); Gal­way Rape Cri­sis; St Joseph’s Kil­lor­glin, Co Kerry and Valen­tia Hos­pi­tal.

The unions con­tend that while Sec­tion 39 or­gan­i­sa­tions were urged to cut staff pay in line with re­duc­tions in re­mu­ner­a­tion to pub­lic ser­vants dur­ing the aus­ter­ity years, the per­son­nel in­volved have not seen pay restora­tion un­like di­rect State em­ploy­ees.

Trade unions yes­ter­day pledged their full sup­port to the cam­paign by Sec­tion 39 staff for pay restora­tion as well for de­mands by com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors for ac­cess to a pen­sion.

Sev­eral hun­dred com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors and Sec­tion 39 or­gan­i­sa­tion staff staged a rally out­side Gov­ern­ment build­ings.

The com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors also staged a one-day strike yes­ter­day al­though fur­ther planned stop­pages are ex­pected to be de­ferred un­til af­ter a new gov­ern­ment is formed.

Unions rep­re­sent­ing both groups said that any in­com­ing gov­ern­ment had to re­alise that “un­fin­ished busi­ness” in re­la­tion to pen­sions for com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors and pay restora­tion for staff had to be ad­dressed.

Com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors ar­gued that the Labour Court in 2008 had rec­om­mended that a pen­sion ar­range­ment should be put in place for them.

Siptu deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary John King said the Gov­ern­ment and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments had told lies about the cost of pro­vid­ing pen­sions to com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors, about the po­ten­tial for knock-on claims and about cur­rent en­gage­ment on the is­sue. He said this was “shame­ful”.

Fórsa gen­eral sec­re­tary Kevin Cal­li­nan told the rally: “CE su­per­vi­sions played by the State’s rules. They achieved a Labour Court out­come in 2008. They waited pa­tiently for the worst of the cri­sis to pass. They be­lieved that they had re­ceived a min­is­te­rial prom­ise to ad­dress things. Again they were stabbed in the back.”

“Sec­tion 39 work­ers were forced to or­gan­ise and to threaten ac­tion to get a hear­ing. Mod­est progress was recorded. A process was agreed. Again the gov­ern­ment failed to de­liver last year.”

The Depart­ment of Em­ploy­ment Af­fairs and So­cial Pro­tec­tion said its po­si­tion was that com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme su­per­vi­sors and Sec­tion 39 work­ers were not pub­lic ser­vants.

“The em­ploy­ees in ques­tion are, or were, em­ploy­ees of pri­vate com­pa­nies not­with­stand­ing the fact that the com­pa­nies con­cerned are, or were, re­liant on State fund­ing,” a spokesper­son said.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: NICK BRAD­SHAW

Com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment su­per­vi­sors took part in a rally in Dublin yes­ter­day.

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