Galway rally message: “We need proper funding, and that is the responsibility of the HSE and the Government”
Galway rally to be addressed by ICTU President Kevin Callinan
Fórsa ’s Fund Us Fairly, Pay Us Right rally, taking place in Galway this Saturday (27th August) will call for pay fairness for social care professionals who deliver disability, homeless and other care services in Galway’s community and voluntary sector.
The protest rally has been organised to highlight pay inequality, recruitment difficulties and growing waiting lists in the community and voluntary sector, where thousands of care professionals are employed in organisations funded by the HSE and other state agencies to deliver specialist care services.
Galway-based social care worker Rachel* features in this Fórsa video message for social media. She explains: “My colleagues and I provide a valuable frontline service to a wide range of vulnerable people. We are campaigning for better funding for our services because we are struggling to recruit talented social care professionals, people who could add real and lasting value to the services we provide. We need proper funding, and that is the responsibility of the HSE and the Government.”
📢Brian explains why we’re calling for better funding for community and voluntary bodies:
⚕️To stop the high rate of staff turnover in vital disability, homeless and other care services
WE WANT YOU!!! pic.twitter.com/s2ekd9AnyV
— Fórsa trade union (@forsa_union_ie) August 23, 2022
Fórsa organiser Helen Cousins, works with social care professionals in the sector in Galway. She explained that most of the funded organisations are struggling to recruit and retain care staff, as wages and conditions in the HSE, other state services and the private sector are more attractive to workers.
She said: “Saturday’s rally will be a family-friendly event, designed to boost awareness that services in health, disability and homeless services in Galway are under severe pressure because workers can’t get a fair deal because their employers don’t receive adequate funding from the state.
“We have 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.
“As a result, staff are moving on to where they can earn a better wage. These are degree qualified professionals, who are constantly upskilling.
We are campaigning for better funding for our services because we are struggling to recruit talented social care professionals, people who could add real and lasting value to the services we provide.
“The effect of all this, in disability services for example, where the HSE relies on community and voluntary organisations to deliver these services, is that they can’t attract professional talent because the funding provided is inadequate. This leads to growing waiting lists for services,” she said.
Ms Cousins said a “level playing field” of pay and conditions, bringing community and voluntary sector pay in line with other sectors, is necessary in order to sustain homeless, disability and other services: “We’re aware that most of these community and voluntary organisations are advocating themselvesofor 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,” she said.
Fórsa’s Galway protest rally takes place on Saturday 27th August to highlight pay inequality, recruitment difficulties and growing waiting lists in the community and voluntary sector.
This family-friendly event will commence at the Millennium Park (beside Galway Cathedral) at 1pm. The rally will be addressed by Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) President Kevin Callinan.
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