Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) reacts to last night's announcement by SIPTU trade union that the 8% pay deal has been accepted by Section 39 workers.

As an organisation dedicated to supporting its employees, IWA is pleased that their hardworking employees, who consistently go above and beyond their duties, will see an increase in their take-home pay.

Chris Hoey, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Irish Wheelchair Association, stated, “Irish Wheelchair Association’s support for our employees continues to be unwavering. We stand with them, we know that their claim for full pay parity is completely justified and we know and applaud the efforts they make every day to deliver quality services of the highest professional standards to people with disabilities. However, we had no part to play in the vote, we were not included in the WRC talks but we will continue to hold the Government accountable and urge them to do what is right. We can only hope that the December talks at the WRC are productive, leading to a resolution of the chronic underfunding in the sector, with pay parity being a key issue.”

IWA are happy that their dedicated employees have got some of the recognition they deserve through the recent pay talks. However, they do stress that this deal of an 8% increase narrows the pay gap slightly but does not achieve pay parity. Section 39 workers are still paid less than their counterparts in the Health Service Executive (HSE). In recent weeks across IWA services, several key employees have left IWA for similar roles in the HSE due to the higher pay on offer. This is a clear indication of the challenges that the disability sector faces in terms of recruitment and retention.

IWA welcomes SIPTU’s calls to address chronic underfunding within the Healthcare Sector in their statement and is encouraged by the news that the Government are committed towards meaningful funding talks in the future. IWA would like to thank their employees and members for their continued support throughout the past few tough months.