Southdoc and Saint Vincent De Paul are two of a number of Cork services and facilities that could be affected by strike action in the coming weeks, as SIPTU announce they are preparing to ballot members of some Section 39 organisations for strike action.
The ballot action follows the refusal of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to honour a recent pay restoration agreement.
“The decision to prepare a ballot our members followed a scheduled meeting between SIPTU representatives with officials from the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive at the Workplace Relation Commission earlier today," SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said.
“At this meeting, it was announced that the Department has refused to apply pay restoration to thousands of health workers employed in a variety of Section 39 organisations.”
Mr Bell said that this was not going to be tolerated by their members.
“We now intend to immediately identify all the organisations where workers have not yet benefited from the pay restoration agreement and prepare to ballot them for strike action.”
Mr Bell also said that SIPTU would be contacting other unions in order to resolve the dispute in a fair manner for workers and services users.
“The number of members involved in this dispute is roughly 6,000. The amount of money the Department requires to fairly resolve it is under €7 million.
“The continued refusal to fairly treat these vital community health workers, who work in areas such as home care, dementia and Alzheimer’s services, is unacceptable.”
Section 39 workers are classed as private-sector workers but their employers are grant-aided by the HSE to provide services mainly in the health and social services sectors.
Traditionally, their pay has been linked to rates in the public service.