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  1. ITV Report

Section 39 healthcare workers suspend planned strike action

Health Minister Simon Harris welcomed the move (Brian Lawless/PA) Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

A healthcare workers union has announced the deferral of a section 39 workers strike action planned for Tuesday.

The Siptu union said the move is in response to an understanding that resolution may be close on a dispute over pay.

Thousands of workers in HSE-funded health and social care bodies are demanding the austerity pay cuts are restored in line with public servants.

The staff in the Section 39 bodies who belong to Siptu do work similar to that of public servants.

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But their employers have argued they cannot afford the pay restoration under the recent Public Service Stability Agreement.

Siptu Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said members did not take the decision to defer lightly.

“The strike action is temporarily deferred and not cancelled,” he said.

“Should the engagement at the Workplace Relations Council not be successful, we will reactivate the strike notice with immediate effect.”

Health Minister Simon Harris welcomed the move.

“I welcome the deferral of industrial action by Siptu and I’m pleased that key healthcare services will not be disrupted on Tuesday,” he said.

“It is recognised that Section 39 agencies provide vital services to often the most vulnerable in our society.”