Unions have lodged a pay claim for a 3% increase for thousands of workers in the community and voluntary sector.
SIPTU, Fórsa, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are launching a campaign today to highlight precarious conditions in the area where the majority of workers are on fixed-term contracts, without sick pay or pension provision.
SIPTU divisional organiser Adrian Kane said thousands of workers in local areas are providing care to the homeless, elderly and those with addiction issues.
“Most of the people we represent in this sector have not had a pay increase since 2009 and a lot of people have suffered significant pay cuts in that time.”
Pay was previously covered under social partnership agreements but that process collapsed in 2009.
Unions said these workers have fallen behind and that the 3% represents the equivalent pay restoration under the current Building Momentum pay agreement.
The sector gets most of its funding from various Government departments.
The four unions have also written a joint letter to the Taoiseach calling for a meeting to discuss the issues and for the inclusion of the bodies in collective bargaining mechanisms.
They said: “Conditions of employment for workers in the sector are now well behind comparative public sector workers. The majority of workers in the sector have no sick pay or pension provision and often they have very little security of employment.”
The unions said the only viable and sustainable industrial relations solution to a multitude of issues in the sector is through the creation of a collective bargaining platform whereby terms and conditions of employment can be addressed and resolved.
Community development worker Róisín Ryder, who works in Fatima, Dublin, said that pay restoration had happened for the public sector but it had not happened for the community sector at all.