SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, 7th December) condemned a Government plan to break from public sector pay norms and ‘top up’ the salary of the official charged with implementing the Sláintecare healthcare reform plan. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “This plan to break from public sector pay norms is completely intolerable to our members. In stark contrast to the treatment of this official, who is to be presented with a remuneration package which breaches agreed norms, the Government is continuing to deny Section 39 health workers pay restoration in line with Labour Court recommendations. “It is time that the pain these vulnerable workers were made suffer during the period of austerity is ended. Ironically, the one rule for them and another for the rest of us approach was used two days ago by Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, in an attempt to frustrate the campaign by Section 39 organisation workers for pay justice.” He added: “The Taoiseach claimed that because some Section 39 organisations had departed from public sector pay norms by awarding senior executives ‘top-up’ payments there was a just reason not to increase the block grant to these service providers so workers could receive pay restoration. That position is untenable and displays the height of insensitivity and hypocrisy.”