SIPTU members employed in the National Advocacy Service (NAS), who provide free representation for adults with disabilities across Ireland, have served notice of strike action on their employer to commence on the morning of Wednesday, 12th June and continue until there is a just resolution of their pay dispute.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, said: “Our members have only decided to commence a campaign of strike action because they were left with no other avenue to advance their claim for a fair pay rise. 

“The employer has now been notified that the strike will commence on 12th June and continue until there is a resolution of this dispute. In conjunction with this strike action pickets will also be placed on NAS workplaces by our members.

He added: “These workers provide a vital service to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It was with a heavy heart that they voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute resulting from a failure of management to respect a Labour Court recommendation on staff pay.

SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Brendan Carr, said: “Our members are fully committed to their clients but believe the very future of NAS is under threat due to the failure of the organisation to provide adequate pay rises which are in line with the recommendation from the Labour Court.

“Without adequate pay for staff, the members believe that the recruitment and retention of workers in this service is in jeopardy. Our members are struggling with the cost of living crisis but also have no choice but to begin strike action if they are to secure the long-term future of this essential service for their clients. Action must be taken on pay to ensure that these vital jobs attract the right calibre of employee.”

He added: “Our members are extremely disappointed that the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, has allowed a situation to arise where a government-funded body is refusing to recognise a Labour Court Recommendation. The unfortunate impact that strike action will have on this service and its clients is the outcome of this intransigence by NAS management and the Government.”