industrial action | 

SIPTU care and community organisations set to vote on strike action

The Irish Wheelchair Association and Galway Rape Crisis centre among those voting on industrial action
Pic: Deposit Photos

Pic: Deposit Photos

Clodagh Meaney

SIPTU members in care and community organisations across the country are set to vote on strike action.

The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and numerous local social services in Galway and Waterford have begun a ballot for strike action in a long running pay dispute.

Other organisations set to cast their ballots include Galway Rural Development, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, and Galway Employability.

Community Employment Schemes across Waterford and workers in a number of other schemes in Limerick and Mayo are also balloting to take part in this initial stage of industrial action.

“These workers provide vital services for their clients and communities,” SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said.

“The last thing they want is to be forced into taking strike action. However, they have been left with no option due to the fact that most have not had a pay rise in more than a decade.”

Mr Kane said that if members vote in favour of industrial action, pickets will take place on Tuesday 5th July and Wednesday 6th July.

He also said that although there will be a knock on effect on those who depend on their services, SIPTU members “believe that they have the support of their clients and communities in this fight.”

“Hundreds of SIPTU members are employed in the organisations which are balloting for strike action providing services including personal care, crisis intervention, meals on wheels, youth clubs and many other essential schemes,” Mr Kane continued.

“The current inflation rate and wider cost of living crisis is pushing many of these workers into the ranks of the working poor unable to afford basic necessities.”

Mr Kane said that it has come down to strike action “due to the failure of successive Governments to adequately fund the community sector and Section 39 organisations.”

“This has resulted in our members being left way behind in terms of pay and conditions because of a breakdown in a previous link between their terms of employment with those of workers in the public sector,” he continued.

“This is despite many of these workers carrying out roles which are directly comparable to those of public servants and vital to their local communities.”

Mr Kane said that he believes that government action can easily resolve this dispute.

“It must move to establish a long promised collective bargaining forum for workers in this sector. This is in-line with government commitments and a recent EU Directive instructing Member States to work to increase the number of workers in the economy who can collectively bargain to establish agreed terms and conditions of employment.”


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