Care workers must receive equal pay for equal work
- We need a single pay framework for Care in Ireland.
Responding to comments made yesterday that care organisations face “collapse”, Labour workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock said that this must be a wake up for Government to act with urgency on the long standing issue of pay for those in care and community services sector.
Senator Sherlock said:
“Many workers in section 39 organisations, section 56 organisation and section 10 organisations have had no pay rise since 2008, there are serious disparities between their pay rates and that of comparable workers within the HSE and other state agencies, many don’t even have the basic allowances or leave provisions of their comparable workers such as transport allowances and there is a serious morale, recruitment and retention issue.
“Workers are fleeing the sector in search of better pay, terms and conditions, and who can blame them?
“These are the workers who go out and work in disability services, in homeless services, in rape crisis services, in other community based services- they provide vital services to give dignity and support to thousands of people in this state and are the backbone of social care in this country.
“It’s time to care for the carers. Last year the Government promised a review and that review is only now up and running and will only look at the largest 300 section 39 organisations.
“We’re aware that there are approximately 1,476 section 39 organisations funded by the HSE in the country plus many more section 56 and section 10 organisations. At a time where so many of these workers are enduring serious real reductions to their standard of living, it is vital that the Government acts with a sense of urgency for all these workers. Ideally the State should be directly providing all these services, but short of that, Government must move to treat these workers and their services with long over respect.
“We believe there needs to be a single pay framework for all care work in this State- this would involve a wage setting arrangement that encompasses all involved in the social care sector, irrespective of their employer, whether they work for the HSE or for contracted organisations. The Government have already done for early educators and childcare workers, there is no reason it could not be done for the care sector.
“It’s time that all care workers were treated fairly by this government. It’s time for parity of wage rates for care workers.”