Midwest Radio – Pickets today at Western Care premises in Castlebar and Ballina

Members of the Fórsa de Western Care union in Mayo are going on strike today, the second day of a series of three consecutive one-day strike actions at community and voluntary sector care agencies.

Western Care provides services and support for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Today’s strike, which will include pickets at Western Care premises in Castlebar and Ballina, is part of the ICTU-led Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign.

The campaign aims to improve the conditions of employment of health and social care professionals and other staff employed in HSE-funded agencies and other state bodies, where staff are employed with a lower pay and conditions than equivalent grades from HSE and other bodies. agencies.

With very high vacancy rates in the sector, up to a third of staff in these agencies quit their jobs each year to seek better employment in similar work elsewhere. Unions say urgent government action is needed to address funding for sector organisations, to improve staff salaries, stem the high rate of staff attrition each year and meet recruitment targets for vital health services , including services for people with disabilities and the homeless.

Fórsa’s industrial relations manager, Michael Kerrigan, said: “These agencies cannot compete on terms and conditions of employment with other public service agencies, including the HSE. Our members tell us that the efforts of Costly and time consuming recruitment doesn’t work People just don’t apply for the jobs as they can get better terms of employment elsewhere leading to service delivery issues and growing waiting lists long.

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