SIPTU to participate in global campaign calling on Governments to protect home care workers
SIPTU Health representatives will today (Friday, 24th April) join trade unionists from dozens of countries around the world including New Zealand, Australia, India and the United States in a global campaign calling on governments to protect all home care workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 crisis.
SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser Paul Bell said: “SIPTU is supporting this global campaign to protect all home care workers. The Government’s belated change of policy on the issue of Health Care Support Assistants wearing facemasks has caused serious confusion among our members. There is also a lack of confidence in the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) ability to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all our members working on the frontline in the community. We have sought clarification from the HSE as in one Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) area alone 75,000 face masks would be required per week.”
He added: “Over the past weeks we have become aware of Health Care Support Assistants having to purchase their own PPE, including face masks from local pharmacies in order to maintain their safety and the safety of their clients. We are now calling on the HSE to reimburse our members for any costs incurred. Many of our members could not afford to purchase equipment and had to make do with reusing protective items. This campaign will help to shine a global light on these workers and on the issues they face in keeping our older people safe in their homes and away from residential settings.”