Community and voluntary workers need a pay rise

04 October 2023
  • Government must ensure demands are met 
  • Strike action likely from 17th October

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said he is deeply concerned at the failure of Government to make progress for care workers.

In advance of planned strike action October 17th, Deputy Smith said families who rely on these workers will be devastated if Government does not intervene.

Deputy Smith said:

“Workers in the community and voluntary sector are at the forefront of providing care, support and friendship in communities throughout Ireland. They support those who need it most and put simply, our communities would collapse without them.

“As far back as last November, the Dáil, including this Government, backed Labour’s motion calling for a pay rise for these workers in line with recent public sector pay agreements, and the establishment of a standing forum and mechanism for collective bargaining on pay and conditions in the sector.

“Instead the offer that has been made to workers is derisory. The issue here is essentially one of pay equality. As the pay master, Government has the power to value care, and ensure that these workers are treated the same as comparable workers employed directly by the State.

“Labour is demanding that Government gets serious, gets around the table with the unions and hammer out a deal to meet the real needs of the workers.

“Creaking care services are held together by staff who now face another winter of spiralling household costs, while wages stagnate. These are the workers who provide the most valuable care services to our loved ones.

“There’s hardly a household in Ireland that these workers don’t touch – whether it’s caring for an older person in their home, aiding those in insecure housing or homelessness, people who have experienced sexual assault. It’s outrageous that this conservative coalition are failing to pay them fairly.”

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