SIPTU Home Help workers from across the Midlands are planning a public protest on Wednesday 21st November next in Tullamore over cuts to Home Help services. This follows the decision of all members of Tullamore Town Council to support a motion backing SIPTU’s Home Helps and Home Care campaign.
A number of Home Help workers were in attendance in Tullamore on November 8 to watch the council debate, including Carmel Bannon from Tullamore who said “It’s very important to receive the support of our local councillors, but it’s equally important that they follow up this support with action.”
The motion, proposed by Sinn Fein’s Brendan Killeavey, called on town councillors to support SIPTU’s national Time to Care Campaign which opposes further reductions to Home Help and Home Care services. The motion also called on the HSE and the Minister for Health “to cease the practice of cutting home help hours due to financial considerations only and not the needs of the clients or the integral role home care workers play in theHSE.”
Welcoming support from the town council Cllr Killeavey declared “This is only part of the battle, the real work now is outside of the Council chamber, organising and mobilising people to get behind HSE Home Help workers and their clients.”
Midlands Home Help workers intend to take their protest directly to the HSE next week as they are planning a protest march in Tullamore. Assembling at the SIPTU Unity Hall, Church Street at 3pm on 21st November the march will proceed to the HSE Central Offices on Arden road where they will hand in petitions with over 6000 signatures calling on the HSE to reverse the cutbacks in Home Help hours.
SIPTU Organiser Dimma van Dulmen explained, “We are calling on Home Help workers throughout the midland counties of Laois, Longford Westmeath and Tullamore to join us on the day and send a clear message to the HSE over the need to reverse these cuts. We are also seeking support from the general public.”
Dimma can be contacted on 087 7789853 for further details of the protest.