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Dignity4Patients - Press Statement 17.10.2023

Statement from Dignity4Patients regarding employee Pay Parity with the HSE for Section 39 funded organisations and charities providing vital community care and support services. Dignity4Patients is very happy with the outcome of the WRC talks between the Government and trade unions representing Section 39 staff, including employees in Dignity4Patients.

Section 39 staff can be paid up to 17% less for the equivalent work in the HSE or Section 38 organisations. In this context, the 5% pay offer made earlier this week falls far short of what is required to achieve equal pay for Section 39 staff who are working alongside HSE and Section 38 colleagues delivering the many of the services.

All services at Dignity4Patients continue to be impacted by the lack of pay parity for staff, this includes reduced opening hours, reduced helpline availability and protracted timelines for accompaniment services to critical appointments with victims and survivors.

The continuing lack of pay parity for Dignity4Patients staff impacts -

Staff Recruitment - The lack of pay parity for staff in Section 39 charities means there is not an equal playing field in recruitment drives. Therefore, Dignity4Patients, as a Section 39 organisation, is at a severe disadvantage to recruit qualified staff for our vacancies.

Staff Retention - There is no salary incentive for staff to continue working in Section 39 organisations when they can get paid more by the HSE or Section 38 organisations for doing the same work.

Dissatisfaction – In annual appraisals and reviews, staff have cited pay parity as one of their key reasons for dissatisfaction or consideration of leaving.

Service Delivery - All of this has a negative impact on our ability to deliver the quality and quantity of services that we are contracted to provide to over 350+ adults and their families.

An immediate intervention and decision by Government to address pay parity to ensure an equal playing field in the recruitment crisis wherein all Section 39 agencies and, particularly Dignity4Patients as a lead agency for victims and survivors of sexual abuse in healthcare environments, is vital. We are at a severe disadvantage if we cannot compete with Section 38 agencies and HSE salary scales offered for doing the same work.

In the absence of pay parity, a solution to the current recruitment and retention difficulties will not be found resulting in the impact on the delivery of much needed services.

This issue will continue to impact the long-term sustainability of Dignity4Patients’s services. The only solution here is for Government to provide funding for full pay restoration for Section 39 organisations like Dignity4Patients and re-instate alignment with HSE pay scales. END.

Some examples of pay differential between some Section 39 staff and HSE or Section 38 colleagues:

• Staff Nurse earns 11% less;

• Clerical Officer Grade working in an Administrative role earns 17.25% less.

*All comparisons are based on HSE Consolidated Pay Scale (1 March 2023). A further increase to the HSE Consolidated Pay Scale is due in October 2023 which will make the percentage differential even greater. Source: National Disability Services Association (NDSA) Pre-Budget Submission July 2023



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