Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (245)

Joan Collins

Question:

245. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health further to correspondence from the Minister of State with responsibility for public health, well-being and the national drugs strategy (details supplied), when community prison link workers will receive pay restoration due to workers of section 38 and 39 agencies, which included workers in the drugs and alcohol task forces and JIs. [7495/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

An agreement was reached by parties at the Workplace Relations Commission in October 2018, in relation to a process of pay restoration for staff employed in section 39 organisations.

Pay restoration commenced in 50 pilot agencies in April 2019 with an annual pay increase of up to €1,000. Any outstanding balance would be paid in two equal amounts in 2020 and 2021, if due.

The agreement reached at the WRC noted that some of the section 39 organisations (approximately 250) which did not form part of the pilot phase are also likely to have pay restoration issues. It stated that a process of engagement to address this would commence in 2019. It is the section 39 organisations who were identified in that initial agreement reached at the WRC in 2018 that are included in this final phase of pay restoration.

Since late 2019, there was a number of meetings between the parties at the WRC, in relation to this final phase. The HSE have been costing this final phase of pay restoration and have asked those eligible 250 organisations, who were included as part of the WRC agreement, to submit an application which will be subject to assessment and verification by the HSE.

I can confirm that following engagement at the Workplace Relations Commission in early December, the parties reached an agreement in relation to the 250 organisations. A payment arrangement consisting of three phases was agreed with the first two payments to be made in 2021.