SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, 1st October) called on the management of St John of God's and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to immediately address the concerns of union members over jobs and the future provision of its services. The call comes following the announcement that the responsibility for the operation of intellectual, disability and mental health services currently provided by St John of God's will transfer into full state ownership over the next 12 months.  SIPTU Industrial Organiser, Damian Ginley, said: “The news has caused considerable shock to our members across the country. The timing of this announcement is unfortunate given the enormous efforts and flexibility shown by our members during the pandemic and they are now rightly anxious about what the future may hold. The funding crisis in Section 38 and 39 organisations, like St John of God's, is nothing new. It represents a broken model and this is simply another consequence of years of neglect and underfunding in the community and voluntary sector.” He added: “SIPTU representatives are calling on St John of God's management and the HSE to engage as a matter of urgency to ensure any transitional arrangements and plans take into account the concerns of the workers in the service. It is critical that this meeting happens swiftly to ensure jobs are fully protected and that the essential services provided to over 8,000 children, adolescents and adults across counties Dublin, Kildare, Kerry, Wicklow, Meath and Louth are safeguarded into the future.”