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26 Sept 2022

‘We'll be back to the Ireland of the 1960s’, community employment supervisor warns

Staff from 13 different organisations, who have not had a pay rise in 14 years, staged industrial action on Thursday in Letterkenny.

‘We'll be back to the Ireland of the 1960s’, community employment supervisor warns

Protestors including Kate Campbell (left). Photo: Joe Boland, North West Newspix

The importance of community employment schemes to Donegal was highlighted by one striking worker who says the ‘Ireland of the 1960s’ would return without those services.

Staff from 13 different organisations staged industrial action on Thursday in Letterkenny.

Workers in the sector have not had a pay rise in 14 years.

Kate Campbell, a community employment childcare supervisor with Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC), was among a group that marched to the Intreo offices.

“We are looking for fairness and equality,” Ms Campbell told Donegal Live.

“The government know that we look after vital sectors. There is childcare, youth clubs, tidy towns.

“If you take away community employment schemes from parishes, we will be back to the Ireland of the 1960s.

“We’ll have weeds growing over the top of us and there’ll be litter from one end of the place to the other.”

Thursday’s demonstration was part of a three-day period of action across he country.

The Workplace Relations Commission has seen a proposed increase of 6.5 per cent for public sector workers proposed.

“Up until 2008, we were on party with the public sector and the cvil service pay scales,” Ms Campbell said.

“When the public and civil service talks began, we found out that we weren’t included in them.

“ This programme is funded by the government. Although it is through private companies, all the funding comes from government. 

“We aren’t directly paid so we don’t get those pay increases, but the participants with us do get the pay rises as their pay increases when social welfare rises.”

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