October 5, 2023
Louise O’Reilly TD calls on government to resolve community and voluntary sector workers’ pay dispute

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, called on the government to engage with Section 39, Section 10 and Section 56 workers and resolve the long-standing pay dispute and avert the indefinite strike action planned from October 17th.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Section 39, Section 10 and Section 56 workers are at the frontline providing essential services every day of the week across health, disability, family support, children, care of older people, homelessness, and addiction.

“These essential workers have not had a meaningful pay increase in 15 years – they are in a situation where they are being paid the same rate in 2023 that they were in 2008.

“The workers, and their trade-unions, Siptu, INMO, and Forsa, have been campaigning to resolve pay issues and secure pay parity with workers doing the same jobs in state agencies for many years.

“As a result of the government’s failure to resolve the dispute, workers in the community and voluntary sector are to commence indefinite strike action from October 17th.

“The workers and their trade unions have been driven to this action due to government inaction and intransigence.

“As a result, families and service users will be particularly affected, this includes children with disabilities, older people, and people with disabilities,

“If this strike action is not averted by government, then it is Sinn Féin’s belief that the State and the HSE must step in and provide services directly.

“The only way forward is for the government to prioritise the workers and service users and engage with the workers, and their trade unions, in a meaningful way so a positive outcome can be achieved through constructive negotiation and industrial action avoided.”

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