SIPTU has condemned as “shameful” a decision by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to subject the Local Community Development Programme (LCDP) to competitive tendering from 2015. The LCDP delivers job training, education and help in finding work to those most at risk of social exclusion. It has been successfully delivered by not-for-profit organisations for over 20 years.SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, said: “I fail to see how pitching community organisations and volunteers in competition against each other will help disadvantaged communities. Competitive tendering will only serve to drive down standards and mask cuts to community services. It’s a shameful decision”.Since 2008, the funding for LCDP has been cut by over 35% with workers facing multiple pay cuts, lay-offs, short time and redundancies.SIPTU activist, Donie O’Leary, who works as a community worker with the Cork City Partnership, said: “After two decades of successfully delivering the community development programme the Department's attempt to privatise our work, and refusal to address our issues, is dismissive and disregarding of our commitment to our work and communities.”SIPTU has called on the Department to attend an upcoming conciliation meeting at the Labour Relations Commission where concerns raised by workers in the community sector will be addressed.