Sinn Féin spokesperson on Community Development, Paul Donnelly TD, has said that Community and Voluntary sector workers must unite to demand better pay and conditions.
His call comes ahead of a protest by members of the FÓRSA trade union in Galway this weekend.
Teachta Donnelly said:
“The voluntary and community sector plays a vital role in Irish life, they should be respected and have equal pay and terms and conditions.
“Better funding for their services is vital to stop the high rate of staff turnover in disability, homeless and other care services.
“They are struggling to recruit talented social care professionals, people who could add real and lasting value to the services they provide. They need proper funding, and that is the responsibility of the HSE and the Government.
“Most of the state funded organisations are struggling to recruit and retain staff, as wages and conditions in the HSE and other state services and the private sector are more attractive to workers.
“From my engagement with the sector is there are lots of members in the same professional roles in different employments, delivering the same services, who are on different rates of pay.
“This is because those agencies funded by the HSE cannot deliver any pay improvements.
“Funding for pay and conditions including pension previsions and bringing community and voluntary sector pay in line with other sectors, is necessary.
“Indeed, most community and voluntary organisations are advocating for improved funding to enable them to improve pay and conditions for their staff.
“By funding these organisations properly, the community and voluntary sector can more successfully recruit the staff they need, boost services and improve the pay and conditions of existing staff, many of whom haven’t had any sort of pay improvement in years.”