SIPTU has its expressed concern over fears of further cuts to community services in Northern Ireland in a series of meetings with District Councils and Stormont MLA’s. The union claims one in 10 jobs have already been lost in the community sector over the last two years.
SIPTU Lead Organiser, Martin O’Rourke, said;
“We have met with MLAs from the UUP, the SDLP and Sinn Fein with further meetings planned with the Green Party and Independents.” Describing these meetings as “positive and constructive”,
“We have reinforced the message to these political leaders that cuts in community sector funding will prove to be a false economy with the resultant long term financial and social costs far outweighing any short-term savings. Some MLAs such as Dawn Purvis (pictured) have worked as volunteers in the Community and Voluntary Sector have a deep understanding and commitment have a proven track record in protecting the interests of working people and the people who rely on public services. We have received cross-party support for our message.”
SIPTU has also written to the 26 District Councils in Northern Ireland requesting the opportunity to engage with them on the issue and asking them to pass motions of support for community sector workers. So far engagements have taken place and dates set for meetings with roughly half of the councils. Thus far all engagements have proven to be positive and constructive, he said.
Martin O’Rourke added:
“In addition, SIPTU has continued its successful engagements with community sector workers across the economy to advise them of our strategy and to ask them to join our campaign to protect their jobs and the vital services they provide,”
More such engagements are planned for Belfast in April.