Hundreds of workers from the Community and Voluntary Sector will be meeting in Liberty Hall on Monday, 18th November, to discuss how to protect jobs and community services in light of years of budget cuts. The assembly, which is organised by the ICTU Community Sector Committee, will be attended by workers from a range of services including drug rehabilitation, community development, employment services, family support, youth projects, childcare, training and education.Social researcher, Brian Harvey, will address the assembly. His research on the cumulative effect of cuts to community sector budgets over recent years indicates stark decreases in funding. These include a decrease in the budget for Local Community & Development Programmes of 43.3%, Initiatives Against Drugs of 37% and Traveller Accommodation of 86%.The assembly will also be addressed by a number of union activists working in the sector and SIPTU Vice President, Patricia King.SIPTU activist and ICTU Community Committee chairperson, David Connolly, said: "The Government appears hell-bent on doing permanent damage to local community based essential services and jobs at a time of deep recession when they are most needed”.He added: “The increase in poverty and hardship in the poorest communities as a result of long term unemployment and severely reduced income is abundantly clear. We cannot allow these areas to be abandoned. For community workers the best way to fight back effectively is to join the union."