SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 15th December) criticised Section 39 employers of inaction while their respective organisations are hurtling towards national strike action in January. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Our members feel it is now necessary to seek a full hearing at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health in order to have a public engagement with all the relevant stakeholders at the centre of this critical national dispute. Our members’ motivation in making this call is to ensure that their employers, the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Department of Finance, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Department of Health are all held to account for their inaction to date in addressing pay restoration for up to 8,000 workers providing health and community services.” He added: “Our campaign so far has dealt with the facts of this ongoing injustice which is starting to impact negatively on the services used by the most vulnerable people in our society. While the Government continues to prevaricate on this injustice, our members’ determination to achieve pay restoration grows stronger. The Taoiseach has already accepted that there is a historical pay linkage between HSE workers and Section 39 workers. However, if the Government is not prepared to act now, then we feel all-out strike action is unavoidable in January.”