Statement from Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon Community in response to The Wheel Ireland’s ‘The Future of Public Service Delivery by the Community & Voluntary Sector’ Report released today:
Staff in the Community & Voluntary sector play an integral role in the provision of essential care to people with disabilities, people in homelessness, people in addiction and older people. They spend years training and specialising to deliver services tailored to the unique needs of the people they help.
Despite the incredibly vulnerable nature of those in their care, the State does not provide community & voluntary sector staff with the same salaries, benefits, increments or pensions as their public sector counterparts for doing the same work and making the same sacrifices. This not only sends the message that these workers are worth less, but that the marginalised people who rely on their help to survive are worth less too.
As a community-based sector, we cannot stand over a situation which has devolved not only to the stage where inadequate funding is compromising the high quality of care these vulnerable people deserve, but one which is pushing those who have dedicated their lives to providing this care beyond the point where they can manage to meet their own basic needs, as inflation and housing costs continue to spiral.
Together with our colleagues across this sector, we are sounding the alarm on an issue which began as an injustice but has escalated to a crisis of care. Without the necessary funding to bridge the pay gap, these vital services will continue to lose more staff, experience longer vacancies and struggle to keep their doors open; the doors which provide homes, lifelines and most importantly, hope to our friends, families, colleagues and neighbours. Without these services, those for whom we need to shout the loudest will find themselves with no voice.
Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon Community
Read the full report here: