A process, to work towards pay restoration for Section 39 Care Workers, has this week been put in place by the Workplace Relations Commission and SIPTU - a move that has been welcomed by the Galway West Social Democrats.
Section 39 organisations, such as Ability West and Rehabcare in Galway, and their employees, are not technically public servants, but are funded by the HSE and perform the same professional roles as their HSE counterparts. Care workers in these organisations experienced pay cuts during the previous government, but did not have pay restored in line with their HSE colleagues.
The Social Democrat’s Galway West candidate Niall Ó Tuathail has welcomed the negotiations, saying they show the value of collective bargaining, and the Workplace Relations Commission process, so “work can begin for pay restoration for care workers, while providing for continuity of care”.
He said Ability West and Rehabcare “do an incredible job providing care and support for people with a disability and their families”, and that it was “important their job conditions should not suffer because the State outsources its responsibilities in social care to these organisations”. He said the issue also highlighted the “fractured and disorganised nature” of our Ireland’s services and “showed the need for major health and social care reform”.