Community workers wait 15 years for a pay rise, according to Limerick Senator

Limerick Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan.

A LONG-standing pay dispute involving people who provide services for the elderly, family support, and those in addiction still haven’t had a resolution to their issues, according to Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan.

Senator Gavan has strongly criticised the Government for its failure to resolve the dispute, involving thousands workers.

He called the Government’s last-minute cancellation of a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) hearing aimed at finally resolving the issue “a disgrace”.

“These are hard-working people in local services such as Meals on Wheels, Irish Wheelchair Association, Pieta House, and others. They provide so many of our frontline services in health, disability, family support, children, care of older people, homelessness, and addiction,” Senator Gavan said.

“These workers have been campaigning to resolve pay issues and secure pay parity for many years.

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“Workers in our communities in Limerick, and across the country, are in a situation where they are being paid the same rate in 2023 that they were in 2008.

“This is unacceptable. They deserve the same recognition and pay and conditions as those providing services in the private and state agencies.

“The affected workers, who have not had a meaningful pay increase in 15 years, continue to suffer in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.”

Senator Gavan added that the pay issue is “further contributing to recruitment and retention issues in local services across Limerick”.

“I am calling on the Government to respect the workers, respect the trade unions, and respect the WRC and come to the table and engage in a meaningful way so a positive outcome can be achieved through constructive negotiation.”