Unions head to WRC for members in community and voluntary health and care services

Join a trade union that wins! Women from community and voluntary sector agencies funded by the HSE protesting for fair pay in Galway

Unions representing staff working in community and voluntary health and care services will attend the WRC on Monday 17th April.

The three unions representing staff working in community and voluntary health and care services funded by the HSE – Fórsa, the INMO and SIPTU – have confirmed they will attend the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on Monday 17th April.

The WRC meeting will mark the commencement of conciliation talks on the long-standing problem of pay terms for staff working in HSE-funded agencies providing health and care services.

While funded by the State, employees working in a range of health professional, clinical, clerical and administrative grades are employed on lesser terms and conditions than their HSE counterparts.

Fórsa national secretary Ashley Connolly commented: “Our member across this sector continue to deliver vital services on behalf of the State, and so we welcome the opportunity to enter conciliation talks.

“The unions continue to work together on this issue, and remain determined to secure a sustainable solution to the pay disparities for specialist staff in this sector.

“We simply won’t accept anything less than a meaningful engagement, and expect the departments to attend the WRC, and to focus on finding a solution to this longstanding problem,” she said.

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Until 2008, workers in these agencies received pay increases under national wage agreements.

At the onset of the financial crisis they were subject to FEMPI pay cuts in line with the same cuts applied to public sector pay.

Unions eventually won limited pay restoration measures in 2019, but pay in these agencies remains significantly behind, and no formal mechanism for collective pay bargaining exists for workers in the sector.

Last week the unions confirmed they had served fresh pay claims on a number of employers in the sector.