Community sector workers holding one day strike

Galway Daily news community disability services strike

Community sector workers in Galway and Mayo working with disabilities will be holding a one day strike tomorrow as part of a pay and conditions dispute.

Fórsa and SIPTU workers at Ability West and Western Care will be engaging in a strike action on Thursday, September 22.

This will be followed by further strikes at Enable Ireland Cork and Kerry on Friday as part of the ICTU-led Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign.

The strikes are part of the Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign which is supported by the ICTU, SIPTU, Fórsa and the INMO.

This campaign aims to achieve better pay and conditions for for social care professionals and other staff employed in agencies funded by the HSE.

Research published last year by Fórsa trade union shows that up to a third of staff in these agencies are leaving their jobs each year to seek better employment in similar work elsewhere.

Fórsa national secretary Ashley Connolly said: “Government is failing to grasp the link between its chronic underfunding of the services we’re talking about and the failure to meet the HSE’s recruitment targets in, for example, disability services.

“The outgoing head of the HSE has acknowledged they’re having problems meeting targets for disability services nationally, including unfilled roles in 18 organisations funded by the State.”

This has led to growing waiting lists and issues with delivering disability services, she added.

SIPTU Public Administration and Community Organiser, Adrian Kane said, “These workers have not had a pay rise since 2008.”

“Unlike trade union members in the public or private sector they currently have no way of negotiating a pay increase.”

“Their wages can only be increased by the Government agreeing to increase funding to the organisations which employ them.”

“We need the Government to do as it did prior to 2008 which was provide increases in funding to Section 39 care and community organisations so these vital workers can continue to provide the services they do.”

Workers the Irish Wheelchair Association, St. Joseph’s Foundation and EmployAbility went on strike in Cork yesterday.

The final group of workers in this wave of action to go on strike will be in Enable Ireland in counties Cork and Kerry on Friday, September 23.

Update: This article has been updated to indicate that it was not just Forsa union workers involved in this strike.