IMPACT trade union has expressed concern at a Labour Court recommendation that workers at disability support service Cheshire Ireland be subject to pay cuts on a par with the public service.
The union believes the court’s decision could have an impact on the earnings of non-public sector workers across the voluntary and community sector.
The court found, given the financial issues facing Cheshire Ireland and as the rates of pay there were aligned with that of corresponding grades in the public sector, “rates of pay should be reduced in line with reductions introduced in the public sector”.
Management at Cheshire, which provides accommodation and support services to adults with primarily physical disabilities and operates 23 residential and supported living centres around Ireland, told the court the organisation needed to make cuts and adjustments if it were to remain viable.
However, according to Industrial Relations News, the court refused to make the pay cut retrospective to the start of the year.
There has been some debate over HSE-funded agencies imposing pay cuts on a par with the public service cuts announced in the last budget.
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan pointed out in the Dáil earlier this year, the grant-aided agencies funded under section 39 of the Health Act 2004 are not directly affected by pay adjustments provided for under the financial emergency measures. Therefore, as they are not public service bodies as defined in that act, their employees are not public servants.
Reacting to the Labour Court’s decision, an IMPACT spokesman said: “This does potentially have wider implications for other HSE-funded bodies which causes continuing concern for this sector.”
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