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Charities worried funding not enough to cover pay deal

Charities have expressed concern that Government funding will not be adequate to cover a pay deal agreed with staff last year.

The pay agreement was reached on 17 October 2023, hours before strike action was due to commence involving 5,000 workers across 17 organisations, including the Irish Wheelchair Association and Enable Ireland.

The deal was to benefit workers in Section 39, 56 and 10 organisations.

These are privately run organisations and charities that are contracted by the Government to provide services to the State in the areas of health, children’s services and homeless services.

The agreement included an offer from the Government of an 8% increase in funding for wages.

Workers represented by Fórsa, the INMO and SIPTU voted to accept the deal.

Enable Ireland said today that it is concerned that the funding it is due to receive from the Government may not be sufficient to cover the initial phase of the pay award and costs for its staff.

“We urgently call on the HSE to confirm that the funding to be released will be adequate to cover all employer costs including pension and PRSI costs in order for Section 39 organisations like Enable Ireland to progress payment of the award and arrears to staff as agreed by all parties last year,” the charity said in a statement.

Enable Ireland has also expressed concern that the public sector pay deal agreed last week will widen the gap between Section 39 workers and their HSE counterparts even further.

“We urgently call on Government not to allow Section 39 workers to fall behind even further,” the charity said.

“We call on all parties to continue the positive momentum from the end of last year and to continue meaningful talks for re-aligning Section 39 staff pay rates with that of their HSE counterparts by the end of this new agreement,” Enable Ireland said.

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