Eleventh hour talks must deliver comprehensive deal for workers in Section 39, Section 56 and Section 10

16 October 2023
  • Comprehensive package must be on the table to avert strike 
  • Cannot be a softening up exercise

Labour workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock said a comprehensive package must be on the table for care workers ahead of planned strike action tomorrow (Tuesday 17th).

Senator Sherlock said:

“Thousands of workers in the community and voluntary sector are going on strike tomorrow, impacting almost every household nationwide.

“Labour stands with these workers and urges Government that, even at this last minute, there is a way to stave off strike action.

“Care workers are simply seeking pay parity with their comparable colleagues employed directly by the HSE. Government is the paymaster. They can easily resolve this dispute and start treating these vital workers with respect.

“Hope is not a strategy but getting around the table and thrashing out the details is.

“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. It’s abysmal.

“One of the most galling things of all in this is Government has had ample opportunity to act. As far back as last November the Dáil backed our 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.

“There is no time to delay. Even at this last hour, we urge Government to address the issues set out by our care workers.”

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