Fianna Fáil Cllr and General Election candidate Joe Flaherty says the Government must move to restore pay to the hard working and dedicated staff at St Christopher’s Services Longford.

The 180 Longford based staff are amongst the Section 39 organisations who operate on a voluntary basis and include many hospices and disability support services. Funding to these organisations was cut by the last Government which meant that front line staff suffered significant pay reductions.

Cllr Flaherty said, “These organisations do amazing work on behalf of the State. We are all aware of the good work that St Christopher’s Services do day in day out in helping people with disabilities, but people might not be aware of the fact that its staff have not been given a pathway to pay restoration in line with their colleagues in the public sector.

“Historically, there was a link between public sector workers and Section 39 workers. Now that the State’s finances are in a healthier position, funding to Section 39 organisations should be increased to allow for pay restoration.”

Cllr Flaherty is adamant that the staff at St Christopher’s deserve to have their pay restored in recognition of their work and dedication.

“The St Christopher’s organisation needs the Government to release additional funding to allow for pay restoration. They are finding it increasingly difficult to retain staff due to the pay disparity so this is something the Government is going to have to quickly address.

“I have been working with Fianna Fáil TD’s and Senators to highlight this issue and we recently raised it in the Dáil. Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to allocate the necessary funding to ensure Section 39 workers get the pay they deserve,” concluded Cllr Flaherty.