Sustainable Funding Must Follow 8% Wage Agreement, Say Public Service Voluntary Bodies

Posted on 24 Nov 2023

The Coalition* of community and voluntary organisations delivering essential health and public services on behalf of the state today welcomed acceptance of an 8% pay increase for staff, negotiated in talks between trade unions and the government in October, saying it is a first step in government recognition of a two-tier model of funding for essential public services. 

Section 39, 56 and 10 bodies warned, however, that continued systemic government under-resourcing of their work must now be addressed urgently to ensure services can be maintained and developed for tens of thousands of vulnerable families and persons countrywide. 

This should be central to talks arising from the WRC agreement to convene by December 1st regarding ‘further adjustments for organisations and their staff,’ they state”

“Our sector is still required to operate on shoestring funding. This impedes our ability to recruit and retain sufficient qualified staff for services in physical and intellectual disability, children, older people, family care, mental health, homelessness and addiction.

“Areas requiring immediate action by government and state agencies include lack of provision in contracts for increased employers’ PRSI and pension payments as well as the absence of allocations for staff increments, allowances, on-call costs, sick pay, maternity pay and administration costs.

“Even with the new 8% wage increase, significant pay disparities remain for huge numbers of our staff. It is vital, then, that proposed talks to address this issue - especially in the context of a looming new public sector pay agreement that will create further pay imbalances - are resumed and concluded as soon as possible, they state.

On a broader level there is a need to quickly set out a clear overall path to sustainability for the essential services we deliver,” they add.

*The Coalition of  community and voluntary organisations delivering essential health and public services on behalf of  the state includes:

  • Coalition of Túsla Funded Organisations
  • Disability Federation of Ireland
  • Dublin Homeless Network
  • Family Resource Centres National Forum
  • Mental Health Reform
  • National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers
  • National Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Sector
  • Simon Communities of Ireland
  • The Wheel