Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (205, 375)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

205. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health the measures he plans to implement in order to assist a section 39 funded voluntary hospice (details supplied) in County Sligo in order to enable it to implement both the Lansdowne Road and public sector pay agreements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40594/18]

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Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

375. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the pathway provided for full pay restoration in view of the fact that recent negotiations regarding the pay restoration of section 39 workers have concluded with reports of a deal being struck at the cost of €7.7 million; and the way in which the estimated cost of €68 million will be provided for in the coming years. [41195/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 375 together.

The Deputies will be aware that in February 2018, an agreement was reached at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) between my Department, the HSE and health sector Trade Unions in relation to a process aimed at resolving the pay restoration issue for staff employed by section 39 bodies in 50 pilot organisations. The 50 organisations included were agreed at the WRC by all parties. I 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. The HSE has completed the first phase of their work in relation to the agencies identified as part of the WRC process. This exercise has shown that of the agencies who returned data, a majority did apply pay reductions of some form. It also showed that some agencies made some form of pay restoration between 2016 and 2018. Following constructive engagement with the assistance of the Workplace Relations Commission, an agreement was reached on 2 October between the parties. Pay restoration will commence with an annual pay increase of up to €1,000 in April 2019 for those employed by the 50 organisations involved in the pilot. Any outstanding balance will be paid in two equal amounts in 2020 and 2021.

It is recognised that some of the remaining organisations will have pay restoration issues also. A process of engagement to address this will commence in 2019.