SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 10th August) called for a face-to-face meeting with Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to discuss breaking the deadlock concerning pay restoration for thousands of Section 39 Organisation workers providing vital health services. The call was made by workers as they conducted a lunchtime demonstration outside the Department of Health on Miesian Plaza, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, ahead of a scheduled one-day national strike on Tuesday, 18th September. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The countdown is on for a major strike by Section 39 Organisation workers across the country. We have 39 days left for the Minister to intervene, to break the deadlock and insist his Government honours the commitments made on the floor of the Dáil that Section 39 workers would receive pay justice in 2018. “An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, himself even acknowledges that Section 39 Organisation workers are entitled to pay restoration by way of an established pay link with public sector health service workers. However, the Government is continuing to sit on its hands, hoping this dispute will go away. It will not.“The fact is our members have in excess of ten Labour Court recommendations in their favour confirming that pay restoration should apply to them in line with their counterparts in the public service. Our members are determined to see these recommendations honoured in full across the sector.”He added: “To date Section 39 employers have been happy to put their heads in the sand while our union does all the heavy lifting on securing funding from Government so workers can achieve pay restoration. Our members believe that they are working much harder than their employers, the Health Service Executive and Department of Health to avoid a strike. It’s time for the decision makers to shoulder some responsibility or face the consequences of a strike in September.”