The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has urged the Government to immediately restore the pay of workers in HSE-funded bodies whose pay was cut in line with public servants during the economic crisis.

Around 6,000 SIPTU members are already due to strike on 18 September over the failure to restore their members' pay, which could have implications for vulnerable service users.

The dispute centres on so-called Section 39 bodies in the health and social care sector, such as Rehab, which deliver services with funding from the Government via the HSE.

While staff do similar work to that carried out by many public servants, they do not legally have that status.

However, during the crisis the HSE reduced funding allocations to the Section 39 bodies to reflect the pay cuts applicable in the public service under the Croke Park and Haddington Road Agreements.

Under the recent Public Service Stability Agreement, public servants are gradually receiving restoration of the austerity pay cuts. However, HSE funding allocations to Section 39 bodies have not been increased to permit matching pay rises.

Section 39 employers say that while they would like to restore pay, they cannot do so in the absence of increased funding.

At a meeting earlier today SIPTU, FÓRSA and UNITE confirmed that they will consult their members to consider what action is appropriate in light of the failure of Government to address the issue of pay restoration for workers in Section 39 organisations.

ICTU General Secretary Patricia King called on Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Health Simon Harris to immediately make available resources to resolve this dispute.