Erosion of services to disabled people set to escalate

August 2 2023, 09:22pm

DFI LOGO (High) (8)

The erosion of services to people with disabilities is set to escalate now that the pay talks, on Monday 31 July 2023, between the unions and the Government relating to the funding of staff in voluntary Section 39 funded organisations has broken down.

There is deep disappointment across the sector at the long-awaited, and much delayed pay offer to unions which fell far short of what is required. 

People with disabilities and their families are bearing the brunt of the continued delays in resolving this issue. 

The growing disparity between pay rates for staff in Section 39 funded voluntary organisations and the HSE is making it impossible for them to continue to provide the current level of essential services to disabled people. They and their families are under enormous strain while this goes on.

Voluntary Section 39 funded organisations can neither retain nor recruit staff under the existing funding arrangement. 

Government is set to launch the Action Plan for the Disability Capacity Review to 2032 which will outline the future service requirements for people with disabilities over the next 10 years. The plan will sit on the shelf until Government provides an equitable level of funding to ensure that current service provision is protected and sustainable.

Government action is urgently needed to bring this growing inequality in government funded service provision to an end and to prevent the imminent loss of vital services.

The Disability Federation of Ireland will continue to work with its member organisations and on behalf of disabled people and their families to get this resolved.

John Dolan, CEO