Health support workers who went on strike earlier this year have overwhelmingly accepted a Labour Court recommendation that will see them receive regradings, resulting in pay rises of between 6% and 13%.

Almost 96% voted in favour, with just over 4% opposing the recommendation.

In a separate ballot on similar issues, chefs employed by the HSE voted by 98% to accept the Labour Court proposals.

The dispute centred on the failure of the Government and the HSE to implement the findings of a job evaluation scheme for thousands of staff including health care assistants, laboratory assistants, porters, technicians and other ancillary grades.

The staff took to the picket line earlier this summer, resulting in disruption to thousands of patients, though the industrial action was ultimately suspended to allow for further talks.

Following nine days of hearings, last month the Labour Court backed pay rises for 6,400 support staff, worth between 6% and 13% due to be paid from this month - though up to 10,000 more could ultimately be affected by the ruling.

The Labour Court also recommended that a further phase of increases should be applied in September of next year.

The workers are also due to benefit from a 1.75% pay rise due this month under the general provisions of the Public Service Stability Agreement.

The Labour Court recommendation also delivers a framework for members whose jobs have not yet been evaluated to go through the process commencing within three months of the recommendation being accepted.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said he expected that the Government would respond positively and quickly to the ballot results, and that members would receive payments due to them without any unnecessary delay.

He said it was never their members' desire to engage in strike action, but after months of obstruction they had been left with no option but to express themselves and their frustrations.

He said the union now had an "emphatic" mandate to pursue phases three and four of the job evaluation process.