Impact says staff will not entertain more changes to terms

Social care staff in West to seek €7.5 million in unpaid premium payments

Speaking at the opening of the conference of the health and welfare division of the Impact trade union in Ennis,  chairman Tony Martin said  public servants had delivered and responded to the demands placed upon services by a growing population

Speaking at the opening of the conference of the health and welfare division of the Impact trade union in Ennis, chairman Tony Martin said public servants had delivered and responded to the demands placed upon services by a growing population

 

Health services staff will not entertain any further alterations to their terms and conditions of employment as part of forthcoming talks with the Government, a trade union leader has said.

Speaking at the opening of the conference of the health and welfare division of the Impact trade union in Ennis, its chairman Tony Martin said “it’s now time for us to stop taking backward steps and move forward again”.

He said public servants had delivered and responded to the demands placed upon services by a growing population.

Mr Martin said the country’s population had increased by 350,000 since 2006, while there were 30,000 fewer public servants in Ireland than there were when the crisis hit in 2008.

“At the same time we’ve responded to the needs of an additional 630,000 medical card holders and the needs of a population that is growing older and in greater need of health services. Our members continue to respond to that demand, demonstrating their deep commitment to public service delivery, and an exceptional record of continuing productivity.”

“When we engage in talks, that productivity will speak for itself. But what we cannot entertain is any further alterations to our terms and conditions of employment.”

Impact represents administration personnel as well as therapy grade staff in the health service.

Mr Martin said Impact had argued, consistently, that pay recovery across all sectors was a vital ingredient to sustaining economic recovery.

“It’s great to hear that pay rounds have begun in the private sector. That is really is good news for the economy. Pay improvements in the public sector are a vital next step, and will help to sustain economic recovery by putting a bit more spending power in the hands of workers. The effects of public sector pay improvements will be felt across the whole country.”

He said when there was talk about recovery, “we need to look at what this means for our health services and how we can overcome the effects of those years of cutbacks.

“Our health services have suffered the effects of the recruitment moratorium, and we’ve witnessed abuse of internship schemes and attempts to outsource our services, all this and our workload continues to increase.”

Mr Martin said that as a union Impact had successfully managed “to face down an insidious attempt by the HSE to outsource the payroll function”.

He said Impact had also succeeded in securing payment of the twilight premium for social care workers and leaders. However he said arrears payment remained outstanding in some areas.

“For example, the union is campaigning in Galway and Roscommon over the issue of €7.5 million in unpaid premium payments to 400 social care staff working in the Brothers of Charity and Ability West services in both counties. These arrears date back 10 years, the campaign is gathering momentum, and we all have a role to play in supporting a successful outcome to that campaign.”