Unions call for stop to funding cuts for Wexford disability service


SEVERAL TRADE unions have jointly called for a stop to funding cuts for a disability care service in Wexford.

The Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO), the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association (PNA), Impact and Siptu say they are increasingly concerned that more cutbacks would pose a risk to the future of St Aidan’s Day Care Services in Gorey, Co Wexford.

St Aidan’s provides services for more than 300 people with disabilities in north Wexford.

INMO industrial relations officer Liz Curran said, “St Aidan’s Day Care Services in Gorey are already working under severe constraints and the current level of service is totally dependent on maintaining the current budget. It is inevitable that any further reduction would have significant negative consequences for the clients and their families.”

Over the past five years, funding has been reduced by more than €500,000 and staff who have left the service have not been replaced. In order to deal with budget cuts to date, management at St Aidan’s has reconfigured the service, imposed a pay cut and a reduction in sick pay.

It has also changed suppliers and increased day service charges.

Declan Breen of the PNA added: “The country faces significant financial challenges. However, we must protect frontline services and the most vulnerable in society. St Aidan’s is frontline. It cannot take any further hits.”