SIPTU Health representatives have stated their support for the Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2016 which was before the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality, today (Wednesday, 3rd May). SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “This Bill, published by Sinn Fein deputy, John Brady, is a vital step in the right direction if we are to abolish mandatory retirement in the public service. This is a critical issue for our members, many of whom are forced to retire at 65 years of age, without the cushion of the state transitional pension. “Our members, who are predominately low paid, have also been exposed to financial hardship by being denied their occupational pension from the day they retire from work. “They are also deeply concerned by the exploitive and utterly unacceptable behaviour of the management of the HSE towards those making an application for a one-year extension of service. SIPTU representatives have highlighted cases that involve low paid workers, who due to their need to stay in employment, are being forced to sign a new short-term contract that savages their salary, terms and conditions.”
 He added: “In most cases, it is the lowest paid health service workers, working in the support grades, who are being forced to accept lower basic pay and unsocial hours. This exploitation of workers must cease. The Government has a duty to ensure that this Bill becomes law as soon as possible.”