Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers Deputy Pauline Tully has expressed her disappointment and frustration after news of today’s rescheduling of WRC talks between unions representing workers in Section 39 disability service providers and the government.
Teachta Tully said:
“Today’s decision to postpone WRC talks between unions representing workers in Section 39 disability service providers and the government will cause grave concern to staff working in these organisations.
“Section 39 staff suffered deep cuts to pay and services during the recession and these have never been fully restored to the level of HSE and section 38 staff.
“It will also cause grave concern to the organisations employing section 39 workers as they find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the employment of staff who receive better pay working for the HSE or a section 38 organisation.
“These organisations provide essential disability services, under contract from the HSE, right across the country and should be placed on parity with HSE and section 38 workers.
“This issue affects a number of organisations based in Cavan such as the Children’s Disability Network Team, which is provided by Enable Ireland, and the Irish Wheelchair Association.
“I recently brought this issue up with Minister O’Gorman who in his response said:
“The Deputy is right that it impacts disability services… The Government has recognised that the pay differential [Sic]. We have committed to engaging in a process through the Workplace Relations Commission, WRC, to resolve that.
“However, this issue has been going on now for 10 years.
“The government knows exactly what is needed to properly resolve this crisis in services that are critical for disabled people and their families.
“Sinn Féin fully supports parity of pay and conditions for section 39 workers and have made a commitment to progress the delivery of parity in our Alternative Budget documents.”