Press Release – 20 July 2023 – Immediate
Attn: Newsdesks, Health and Social Affairs Correspondents
Unprecedented threat to essential disability services as a result of today’s last minute postponement of WRC talks
Disability organisations providing services, under contract from the HSE, right across the country are gravely worried with yet another postponement of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) talks between trade unions and the government.
Reacting to today’s postponement, Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) CEO John Dolan, said, “Disability organisations were relying on a positive outcome from today’s talks to reassure them that essential services will continue to be provided to disabled people.
“The non-reversal of deep cuts to pay and services during the Recession, which ended in 2013, is not news to government. This situation has been festering for over a decade and it is compounded by a crisis where staff are leaving to simply move to the HSE and elsewhere to get the government agreed pay and conditions. Consequently, services to disabled people are being further restricted and downgraded on a daily basis for some time.”
John continued, “The government knows what needs to happen to properly resolve this crisis in critical services that disabled people and their families depend on. In fact, in the past month alone a DFI email campaign to TDs and Senators has seen 3,200 emails sent from across the country from individuals, families and disability services, all of whom are concerned about this crisis in their services.
“To put it plainly and simply – there are pay differentials in the region of 15% in this government sponsored two-tier pay system for staff who are doing similar or identical work to the same client group.”
John concluded, “A resolution is needed now – within days and weeks rather than months and years, so as to give confidence and assurances to disabled people and their families that these vital services will continue.
“Today’s last minute postponement of negotiations by the government side is further destabilising and causing fear and anxiety to disabled people and their families.”
Notes for Editors
- John Dolan is available for interview on request.
- The DFI’s email campaign has seen 3,200 emails sent to TDs and Senators asking them to take action to solve the crisis affecting services for disabled people. You can find out more about the campaign on www.disability-federation.ie/take-action
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