Miserly Pay for Childcare Workers must end – Ó Laoghaire
This evening in the Dáil Sinn Féin’s motion on Childcare Workers Rights was debated, with focus firmly being put on the experience of workers, and how they are deserving of respect. The motion received unanimous support.
Our party have put this on the agenda for many months now and hope this will be the catalyst for the Government to act
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD called for this Government treat workers with the respect and dignity they deserve by putting an end to miserly pay and working conditions.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;
“It is estimated that the childcare sector employs over 25,000 people, making it a significant and growing workforce.
“Many other sectors employ fewer numbers than the childcare sector, yet the Childcare professionals have struggled to get the same level of recognition as other sectors have when it comes to reasonable demands for pay and respect.
“Those who have gone to great lengths of gaining the qualifications to work in the sector are now in effect being forced out with roughly 3 in every 5 workers who left in the last 12 months doing so because, as a career choice, they do not believe the sector to be financially sustainable to them on a personal level.
“Many are paid little over €10 an hour despite doing a great deal of unpaid contact time, and despite having trained for many years to gain qualifications.
“We are, as was already alluded to, in the midst of a childcare crisis and have been for quite some time.
“Childcare workers in Ireland have for too long accepted the poor working conditions and poor rates of pay that has dogged the sector for far long.
“Although not exclusively, the proper recognition of those who work in the Early Years sector being acknowledged and remunerated for the work they do goes a long way in bringing childcare in the state up to scratch; and this Government can begin on this path by treating workers with both the dignity and the respect that workers are all too deserving of.
“To think that we have a situation where workers doing a 40 hour week are at the point of penny pinching when it comes to the last few days before the next pay packet is frightening.
“These staff are the people who rise early in the morning to go out and do a fair days work for a less than fair days’ pay. This must end."