IMPACT conference liveblog: Caring at what cost?

IMPACT’s conference has called on the union’s central executive to continue to pursue pay increases for the community and voluntary sector at all levels.

Earlier this year, the union launched a campaign for pay restoration in the community and voluntary sector entitled ‘Caring at What Cost?’. The demands of the campaign were based on the findings of an IMPACT-commissioned report prepared by Dr Chris McInerney. The report found that the continued capacity of this sector to play a strong and progressive role in service delivery has been severely tested over the past eight years of recession and that employees are increasingly expected to do more, with less and for less.

Speakers from IMPACT’s Cork Branch said that the recession created a range of social ills, such as an increase in suicide rates, that have augmented the burden of work on community and voluntary organisations. Conference heard that “many staff in this sector supplement decreased budgets from their own pockets, for example through fuel costs”. The community and voluntary sector, Conference has heard, is “a sector that has been left behind”. Along with a restoration of pay, it was argued, a “restoration of respect for and value of people who work in the sector” is urgently required.