SIPTU representatives have today (Tuesday, 2nd January) written to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, seeking a meeting and clarification in relation to a tweet sent by the Minister last Saturday (30th December), in which he set out his health service priorities for 2018. The tweet included a commitment to engage with health contractors to unwind the FEMPI legislation. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “We have formally requested a meeting with the Minister for Health concerning his priorities for the health service in 2018, particularly his commitment to unwind FEMPI legislation for health service contractors. In this regard, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, also has a responsibility to restore pay for all of those who provide vital services to the public. “As both ministers know, our members who are employed in Section 39 organisations are preparing to commence strike action next month to progress their legitimate claim for pay restoration. They believe that it is necessary for the Minister to clarify his position as our members work for organisations contracted to the HSE to carry out health and social care services.” “In a week where we have seen pay restoration for hundreds of thousands of public service workers get underway, Section 39 workers have been further left behind. This is despite established pay links between these public servants and Section 39 workers which have been upheld by the Labour Court in several recommendations.” Bell also stated that he was confident that a request by SIPTU representatives for a hearing at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health concerning the situation with Section 39 organisations would be granted this month. He added: “Our members employed by Section 39 organisations are continuing their campaign. They have formally requested that Government TDs and Senators representing constituencies where Section 39 organisations operate meet local strike committee representatives for the purpose of seeking their support in this struggle for pay justice.”