Union representatives and Government officials returned to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on 13th May, to discuss further pay adjustments following the 8% agreed in October 2023 for members employed in Section 39, 56 and 10 agencies. 

On the union side were representatives of the SIPTU Community Sector, SIPTU Health Division and other health unions. Several Government Departments were represented alongside the HSE and Tusla. There were also representatives from The Wheel, IBEC and Section 39 employers amongst other employer groups.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan Carr, said: “The unions laid out our claim for restoration of the historic link with public sector salary scales for workers in Section 39 agencies who held it before the pay cuts in 2010. We also stated 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.

“In addition, we highlighted our concern with the slowness in funding flowing from the KOSI process to Section 39 agencies to implement the pay deal negotiated in October 2023. We reminded the funders/employers of the importance of paying this money as quickly as possible given how close we were to a national strike in the sector late last year. 

“Separately, we raised the omission of organisations, who are deemed ineligible to apply for the funding due to being covered by an existing ‘tender’ process. Following a lengthy dialogue, the Government Departments agreed to review the position regarding these organisations and revert to the unions as quickly as possible.”

He added: “On the substantive issue of pay, 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 is a dialogue between the parties in the interim.”