Government must guarantee timeline for engagement with section 39 and community sector workers

12 October 2022

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said today (12th October) demanded that the government must put in place an immediate timeline and guarantee a process for engagement with workers in the community and voluntary sector.

The call comes following the government waving through Labour motion calling for pay rises for community and voluntary sector workers

Deputy Smith said:

“The government must put their money where their mouths are and immediately establish a process for dealing with this matter once and for all. The government can demonstrate their bone fides for care workers by immediately setting a process of engagement in place. The Minister for Health is on the record saying that a WRC process could resolve this issue and he needs to do all in his power to make this happen.

“Government did not oppose Labour’s motion, nor did they propose any amendments. Whilst it was disappointing that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform was not present, the Minister for Health and Minister Anne Rabbitte agreed with the aims of our motion. Agreement is all well and good, but now we need action. These workers are sick of tea and sympathy from government what they want is real action.

“Community and voluntary workers who care for our most vulnerable must be shown respect by this government. That’s why we brought forward our motion – to ensure they are heard. The reality is that we are in the middle of the worst cost of living crisis in memory, and these workers are fighting for pay parity. The last thing they want is having to picket, but they are being left with no choice. These workers are being paid much less than equivalent staff in the HSE and other State bodies. They deserve pay parity and an equal pay for an equal day’s work.”

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