SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 5th February) confirmed that up to ten Section 39 organisations in counties Wexford, Kerry, Westmeath, Sligo and Leitrim will be balloted this week on whether to take strike action in their campaign for pay justice. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The hundreds of workers to be balloted this week will be deciding if they wish to join a two-day work stoppage which is already supported by their colleagues in nine other Section 39 organisations. This two-day work stoppage will occur the week after the one-day stoppage on Wednesday, 14th February, by members in the nine Section 39 organisations around the country who have already voted to take strike action.  “It is becoming clear to our members that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) is obstructing a resolution to this dispute which concerns their legitimate request for pay justice. The role of the DPER in blocking a resolution was made clear last week when its officials failed to attend a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health to discuss the issues of concern for workers in Section 39 organisations  “This meeting was informed that the HSE has requested the funding necessary to restore the pay of workers in Section 39 organisations but this demand was refused by the DPER.” Bell added: “In recent days, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, and Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, have decided to support the position of the officials in the DPER. They have incorrectly claimed that around 2,000 Section 39 organisations could be impacted by our members demand for pay justice. Representatives of SIPTU and other unions have carefully reviewed this claim and can confirm that the number of Section 39 organisations with an established pay link to the public service is actually 66.” SIPTU members in the following organisations will participate in the strike action on Wednesday, 14th February and attend a demonstration outside the Department of Health in Dublin on the same day; Rehab Ireland, the Cheshire Foundation, Western Care in County Mayo, St Joseph’s Foundation in County Cork, SOS Kilkenny, Ability West, Wicklow Community and Family Services, SOS Workshops and Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, Curraheen, County Cork.