SIPTU provided an update to directly affected members within the Section 39 sector to advise them of progress relating to issues arising from the implementation of the pay agreement reached in October 2023 at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).  

The parties returned to the WRC earlier this month to discuss the commitment to negotiate further pay adjustments following the 8% agreed in October for Section 39, 56 and 10 agencies.

The unions laid out a claim for restoration of the historic link with public sector salary scales for workers in section 39 agencies who held it prior to the pay cuts in 2010. It was also stated that the need for a long-term solution regarding pay and funding in these sectors that would build on the WRC agreements from 2018 and 2023 was needed.

In addition, the unions highlighted concern with the slow process in funding being provided to implement the pay deal negotiated in October 2023. Unions reminded the funders/employers of the importance of paying this money as quickly as possible given how close it came to there being a national strike in the sector late last year.

Separately, the omission of certain organisations was raised. Following a lengthy dialogue, the Government Departments agreed to review the position regarding these organisations and revert to the unions. The unions stated the importance of this matter to members in these locations and the need to resolve it as a matter of urgency. It was also highlighted that these organisations had been included in the 2018 process and there was no reason they should now be excluded.

On the substantive issue of pay for workers in Section 39 Agencies, the Government side requested time to review the data collected by the HSE and others to demonstrate the cost of the claim submitted by the union side. The WRC adjourned proceedings until 24th June and requested that there be a dialogue between the parties in the interim on the tender organisations and the GP Out of Hours Services to resolve any issues arising.

The issue regarding pay in this sector remains a key one for the Health Division, and members have been advised that the Union will keep them updated on any progress made.