SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 25th July) confirmed that talks to avert strike action across Section 39 organisations have collapsed following negotiations in the Workplace Relations Commission. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Our members deferred strike action in February in good faith following an agreement between the parties that pay restoration would begin by the end of 2018. This has not happened and our members patience has worn thin.”After months of intense campaigning our members feel that what is being offered is too little, too late and will be striking on Tuesday 18th September. Our members will do everything possible to protect service users throughout the periods of strike.”We would like to acknowledge the commitment of the Workplace Relations Commission for its efforts to bring about an agreement between the parties.  Unfortunately, the Department of Health and Health Service Executive (HSE) refused to sanction a confidence building payment of the €1.5 million required to pay our members 1% of pay restoration in October 2018.”He added: “This is despite massive cross party support and the fact that our members were given commitments by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health, Simon Harris to Section 39 workers that the existing pay relationship between Section 39 organisations and the HSE would be honoured in full. Our members feel they now have no other option but to take action.”“It is deeply regrettable that the departments took the decision to face down our members instead of doing the decent thing and paying them what they are owed.”