SIPTU activist and PA, Stephanie McNamara, said: “People with disabilities deserve the right to fully participate in their communities, to have an education, a job and family. For many people with significant disabilities this is made possible by SIPTU members who work as PAs in the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Centres for Independent Living.”
Since 2008 the overall disability budget has been cut by €159 million and PAs have suffered pay cuts and reduced hours. Meanwhile demand for PA services and other home care support grows.
The Department of Health is also proposing to put the Assisted Living Service out to tender; if this happens unchecked it will drive down wages for PAs. The impact of tendering in home care services for elderly people has resulted in some private companies paying as little as €9 per hour to workers.
However, the SIPTU PA campaign will focus on increasing funding and ensuring fair rates of pay.
For more information contact Shonagh Byrne at 01 858 6381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.