SIPTU Health representatives have today (Thursday, 4thApril) demanded that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform allocate funds to implement the findings of a job evaluation scheme for up to 7000 support workers in hospitals across the country. The move follows a meeting between SIPTU representatives and the Health Service Executive and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform officials in Dublin today. The job evaluation scheme agreed under the Lansdowne Road Agreement assessed whether the roles of the staff in question had changed in any way that may entitle them to an upgrade. The grades under assessment included Health Care Assistants, Maternity Care Assistants, Laboratory Aides and Surgical Instrument Technicians. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The meeting was frustrating in the extreme. However, one sliver of hope for our members is that the HSE accepted the findings of the job evaluation scheme. However, until the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform allocate funds our members will remain underpaid for the work they do. Members are resolute in their determination to see this process over the line and receive the benefits that the findings of the scheme set out. “Our members signed up to the scheme in good faith and have been waiting patiently for Government to get off its hands. Their patience has worn think. They want to take action. They also believe that the refusal to implement the findings of the scheme strikes another blow to our members’ confidence in the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA).” At the meeting, SIPTU representatives also made the case to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to implement and fund the findings of a review into chefs pay in the health service.  He added: “We made our position very clear to management. Chefs have played by the rules, went through due process and are now due a fair hearing on why they should be migrated onto a craft worker pay scale. So far, management has refused to engage in any meaningful way with union representatives. It is unacceptable and our members are rightly and rapidly losing confidence in their employer and want to take action.”