The National Disability Services Association, which represents seven of the largest disability service providers in Ireland, welcomes the suspension of the strike actionby unions pending a ballot on the agreement brokered at the WRC in the early hours of the morning. We await the see the full details of what has been agreed and the Government funding to support this agreement.
Speaking at an NDSA meeting today Chairperson of the NDSA, Barry McGinn, said:
“The NDSA welcomes the agreement brokered last night at the WRC. The staff across the S39 organisations had been placed in an impossible position. It is lamentable that they were forced to the brink of strike action, which caused considerable stress for the disabled people who rely on these services, their families,and the workers themselves before the Government would enter into serious negotiations on finding a resolution.
The agreement reached last night is a welcome first step in recognising the valuable work S39 organisation. However, it is critical that S39 organisations are placed on a sustainable funding footing into the future and that pay parity for our staff with HSE and state funded organisations is secured in the long-term.
TheGovernment must now act to deal with the funding crisis in disability services which stems from the absence of a policy or strategy defining the role of the sector in delivering disability services forwhich the state is responsible. It is incomprehensible that the Disability Action Plan agreed by Cabinet last July was not published prior to the budget and that the Budget was announced with no regard to what is in that plan.
We are urging Government toengage with disability service providers to ensure that funding is in place toensure that the most vulnerable citizens of our society are protected and given the care they need and deserve.”
The National DisabilityServices Association (NDSA) represents the network of seven of the largest national providers of disability services in the community across Ireland, six of which are S39 organisations and one (CRC) a S38 organisation. Our members providequality and innovative services in striving to ensure equal access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities in line with theUnited Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
We work across the widest range of community services – education, training, children’s disability network teams, personal assistance, community day care employment, residential, respiteand rehabilitation. We deliver our services in a person-centred and empoweringway, and work with and for people across all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
We have a long and evolving legacy as leaders in the disability sector. Across our member organisations, over 8,000 dedicated staff provide key clinical and social services to over 40,000 individuals and their families every year.
Member organisations affected by the initial strike action include: the Irish Wheelchair Association; Enable Ireland; and Cheshire Ireland.