SIPTU has called on the Government to extend the terms of the public service pay deal to workers in the community sector and Section 39 organisations who have not received a pay rise since 2008.
Adrian Kane, SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, said: “These workers provide some of our most vital services, caring for the vulnerable and maintaining our communities. Despite this, they have been left in the dire situation of being on the same rate of pay since 2008 with no way of securing a rise, apart from taking the campaign of industrial action on which they have now embarked.
Following two days of strike action in Waterford, Galway, and Donegal in July, workers in selected community sector and Section 39 organisations in Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal will undertake strike action from 21st to 23rd September.
“Most of these workers received pay rises linked to public service agreements until 2008. Since then, the organisations for which they work, which are reliant on government funding, have not received increases to their grants which allow them to maintain this link. We are calling on the Government to engage with the workers’ unions and discuss how we return to a system of linking these vital workers’ pay to movements within public service pay,” said Kane.
“We have written to the Taoiseach requesting a meeting on this issue. His office then referred us on to the Tánaiste who in turn referred us on to other ministers including the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman. He responded that while he ‘appreciates the tremendous contribution’ made by community and care workers he is powerless to assist because thee remuneration of these staff is a matter for the organisations that employ them. However, he failed to accept that it is the Government which has ultimate responsibility because it funds these same organisations.”
“This pass the parcel approach by the Government must end. Workers in community and Section 39 are saying ‘enough is enough’. They will be taking to picket lines across the country until they receive a fair pay rise so they and their families can attempt to cope with the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.”