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29/10/2021 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Workers around the world demand a new deal for the care sector

Today (Friday, 29th October) workers, unions and civil society allies around the globe will take action to demand investments and decent work in care.

The annual Global Action Day to #InvestInCare is a joint initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), UNI Global Union, Education International (EI), International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) Public Services International (PSI), and Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)

SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser Kevin Figgis, said: “The pandemic has exposed how decades of underinvestment in our health and care systems have severely degraded quality, accessibility, and safety in the sector. Earlier this year, SIPTU members participated in UNI Global Union´s comprehensive survey of care workers and the results were stark. It showed unacceptable levels of staffing shortages, poverty pay, and dangerous conditions in the global care system. In Ireland, the pandemic has shone a light on the value of all our health workers and the challenges we face securing proper funding, safe staffing levels, and the ever-creeping threat of outsourcing.

He added: “Today, we stand with you to say enough is enough. We want accessible and quality care for all with good wages underpinned by the highest safety standards for all our frontline heroes. Nothing less will do.”

“Care workers cannot wait for the next pandemic to hit. They need safe jobs, acceptable staffing ratios, secure hours and family-sustaining pay now,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. “We say that COVID-19 has changed everything, but many of the problems in care have stayed the same—or gotten worse. It’s time to rebuild the care sector to benefit patients, residents and workers alike,” she continued.

Head of UNI Global Union´s Care sector, Adrian Durtschi, said: “Care workers around the world need urgent action from governments and employers to put life at the centre of care. That means safe jobs and jobs that can sustain a family. On October 29 and beyond we are seeing a broad coalition—workers, investors, patient advocates—come together for change.”

This global day of action will draw attention to the urgent need for a re-investment in universal, equitable, quality, public and gender transformative health and care systems for:

  • the creation of decent jobs for women and men in the care sector, including access to vocational and lifelong learning;
  • improving pay and working conditions for workers in health, care and education;
  • ensuring availability and accessibility by all to quality public health, care and education services;
  • stimulating sustainable economic and jobs growth; and
  • realising gender equality policies and programmes.

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