SIPTU has called on the Government to extend the terms of the public service pay deal to workers in the community sector and Section 39 organisations who have not received a pay rise since 2008. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “These workers provide some of our most vital services, caring for the vulnerable and maintaining our communities. Despite this, they have been left in the dire situation of being on the same rate of pay since 2008 with no way of securing a rise, apart from taking the campaign of industrial action on which they have now embarked. “On 21st, 22nd and 23rd September, workers in selected community sector and Section 39 organisations in counties Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal will conduct strike action as part of the Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign. This follows two days of strike action in Waterford, Galway and Donegal in July.” He added: “Most of these workers received pay rises linked to public service agreements until 2008. Since then, the organisations for which they work, which are reliant on government funding, have not received increases to their grants which allow them to maintain this link. We are calling on the Government to engage with the workers’ unions and discuss how we return to a system of linking these vital workers’ pay to movements within public service pay. “We have written to the Taoiseach requesting a meeting on this issue. His office then referred us on to the Tánaiste who in turn referred us on to other ministers including the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman. He responded that while he ‘appreciates the tremendous contribution’ made by community and care workers he is powerless to assist because the remuneration of these staff is a matter for the organisations that employ them. However, he failed to accept that it is the Government which has ultimate responsibility because it funds these same organisations. “This pass the parcel approach by the Government must end. Workers in community and Section 39 are saying ‘enough is enough’. They will be taking to picket lines across the country until they receive a fair pay rise so they and their families can attempt to cope with the worse cost of living crisis in a generation.” The organisations going on strike in Cork on Wednesday, 21st September, are the Irish Wheelchair Association, St. Joseph’s Foundation and EmployAbility. On Thursday, 22nd September, workers in Western Care in Mayo, Ability West in Galway and selected community employment schemes in Donegal will be striking. The final group of workers in this wave of action to go on strike will be in Enable Ireland in counties Cork and Kerry on Friday, 23rd September.