Staff in the Western Care Association in county Mayo will strike on Thursday, 22nd September, as part of the Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign to highlight the demand for a first pay rise in 14 years for workers in the sector. Western Care Association Social Care Assistant in Mayo and SIPTU activist, Barbara Clinton, said: “Most care and community sector workers have not had a pay rise in 14 years. They are struggling to make ends meet in the face of a worsening cost of living crisis while also seeking to maintain services for some of our most vulnerable citizens.  “In July, strike action was taken in selected care and community organisations in counties Dublin, Waterford and Galway. Unfortunately, the Government, which controls the funding of our organisations and so has ultimate control over whether the wages of workers can be increased, has failed to positively respond to our demand for pay justice.”  She added: “Due to the Government’s intransigence, workers in several organisations in Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Cork and Kerry have now voted to go on strike on a rolling basis from 21st to 23nd September, as part of the Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign.” SIPTU Organiser, Liz Cloherty, said: “Government is failing to grasp the link between its chronic underfunding of the wages of workers in these organisations and the failure to meet recruitment targets in, for example, disability services.  “These are the same organisations struggling to attract enough qualified and experienced staff in a very tight labour market. Why? Because they can get better paid work elsewhere. The failure to fund the services adequately has led directly to shortfalls in services and growing waiting lists. It also leaves our members feeling undervalued and not recognised by the Government for the invaluable work they do.”  The Western Care Association has a Service Level Agreement with the Health Service Executive on whose behalf it provides supports and services to people with intellectual disabilities throughout Co. Mayo. The Valuing Care, Valuing Community campaign is supported by the ICTU, SIPTU, Fórsa and the INMO.