People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin said,
“The announcement by the DfC Minister that the pandemic £500 recognition payment will be extended to 4,500 Supporting People Programme workers is down to the tireless campaigning of the UNISON Community and Voluntary Branch.
Unison Community branch activists should be commended for leading the campaign for this important demand.
The Minister had initially said there was no money available for community sector workers but the trade union-led campaign and the threat of further mass action at Stormont has forced a U-turn.
People Before Profit’s motion to Derry and Strabane Council calling on the DfC Minister to agree to the demand for financial recognition received unanimous support.
This is a victory for people power and shows the role trade unions can play. We encourage all workers in the community sector to join a trade union today.
While this announcement is welcome, it will not undo a decade of wage cuts and the erosion of terms and conditions for workers right across the community sector. Work in the sector has become increasingly complex and demanding while pay has stagnated leaving workers no choice but to access food banks.
It is urgent for the DfC Minister and the entire Stormont Executive to make a priority of utilising the ability to devolve the setting of minimum wages and introduce clauses attached to funding access for workers in the sector to receive real living wages.
The lesson is clear from this U-turn. Stormont Executive Ministers will make promises and sit on their hands until they are faced with people power action. All campaigns should take note of this and make plans for action.”
People Before Profit today launched a Bill to increase the number of Bank Holidays in Ireland. The party is proposing that three extra bank holidays