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21 Jan 2022

'Value Care and Recognize Work' - Unions lodge 3% pay claim for community and voluntary workers today

The sector is the 'glue that holds our society together'

Unions launch campaign for 3% pay increase for community and voluntary workers today

Unions launch campaign for 3% pay increase for community and voluntary workers today

Unions have lodged a 3% pay increase for thousands of workers in the voluntary and community sector today.

The nationwide campaign is called 'Valuing Care/Recognising Work' and is being launched by SIPTU, INMO, Fórsa, and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).

The campaign aims to find 'a fair way forward' for workers in the community and voluntary sector.

The pay claim, set at 3%, would bring workers in the community and voluntary sector in line with pay patterns across all sectors, including the pay provisions contained in the public service agreement, Building Momentum, according to the Unions.

The Unions say that workers in the community and voluntary sector provide a huge range of community-based services in health.

These services include care for older people, care for people with disabilities, services for people with addiction, homeless services, and a range of services for children.

The Unions say services are provided for 'everyone from nought to a hundred years of age'.

Community Development Worker, Roisin Ryder said from 2010-2012 the community sector was cut by 38 percent which massively impacted the sector. 

"People are the centre of our work. If we don't get funding for workers, we cannot manage." she added.

Ms. Ryder said they are conscious that pay restoration has happened for the public sector but not for community workers. 

SIPTU's Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane said this campaign is trying to ensure the work of community workers is valued and is given recognition as they are 'the glue that holds our society together'.

The sector has not had a pay increase since 2008 and many workers have suffered 'significant' pay cuts since that time, according to Adrian Kane.

Section 39 worker Hugh O'Rourke said the funding crisis must be overturned to deliver the care that the most vulnerable in society deserve and 'enough is enough'.

Forsa Offical, Catherine Keogh said that Slaintecare talks about the right care, at the right time, at the right place, which everyone agrees is the way forward. 

"If politicians are serious about this, and value the work our members provide, if they value the work that workers provide, and if they have due regard and respect for the citizens and voters who use these services they will fund them properly." added Ms. Keogh. 

"Community Work needs to be acknowledged for the essential work it does, it's on the ground, and it's working with people where they are at." added Roisin Ryder.

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