Ministers Harris & McGrath Welcome Agreement on Pay Restoration for Section 39 Funded Organisations.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, & Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, have today (Wednesday) welcomed the agreement reached between health sector management and unions at the WRC yesterday evening which will see pay restoration for staff organisations funded by the HSE under Section 39 of the Health Act. While not public servants, many were subject to pay cuts during the economic crisis.
In 2017, staff of these organisations balloted for industrial action seeking pay restoration. In order to avert this action, the Minister for Health asked the HSE to engage with the Section 39 organisations to establish the facts around what cuts were applied and how and when they were implemented.
On foot of agreement at the WRC, a data gathering exercise was conducted on an agreed list of 50 organisations. From this exercise, it is clear that staff did have pay cuts but that organisations took different approaches. Following intensive discussions, an agreement has now been reached on pay restoration for these 50 organisations.
Minister Harris said:
“I believe that what has been agreed is a good deal which will see those who had their pay cut in these organisations benefit from an initial increase of up to €1,000 on their salary in April 2019. Any outstanding balance will then be paid over the following two years – half in 2020 and half in 2021.
“It is particularly positive that this deal is structured so that those who are the lowest paid will see their pay restored the quickest. Based on the information available, it appears that almost 90% of staff who saw their pay cut will see on average three quarters of that pay reduction restored in 2019.”
Minister McGrath said:
“I have consistently argued that staff in these organisations should not be left behind and I am delighted we now have this agreement. This was particularly important to me given that a majority of staff are employed in organisations which provide essential care and support for people with disabilities across the country. They deserve a fair deal and I believe that is what we have got.”
A validation and audit process will need to be carried out by the HSE to ensure the funding sought by organisations is warranted and that pay reductions were applied. Minister Harris reminded employers that there would need to be proactive engagement with the HSE in order to ensure that the detailed information would be provided when requested.