People Before Profit local representative for Dublin Bay North, Bernard Mulvany, declares full support for the Irish Wheelchair Association Personal Assistants in their strike action this Tuesday, 5th of July, at 12 pm in front of the Clontarf Head Office, Blackheath Drive, D03AW62.
The assistants have not had a pay increase since the 2008 recession and the devastating austerity imposed and facilitated by the Establishment parties of FF-FG propped up by the Labour Party and The Green Party.
The workers are now facing a situation whereby at a time of rampant inflation (9.6%) and a cost of living crisis they are still working at the same pay rate as 14 years ago.
The supports offered by these workers are essential to the lives of so many people living with disabilities and it affords them independence and dignity but that cannot come at the cost of the workers themselves.
As a section 39 organisation, the government has effectively privatised this model of essential care and washed its hands of any involvement in pay talks and setting pay rates, yet the HSE relies heavily on these workers to provide the state care they so desperately need.
These are essential workers and, in the midst of a cost of living crisis when we see so many of our workers struggling just to survive, the Government should make funds available so the services are provided in full, helping those who need the most, and the workers receive the payment and recognition they deserve.