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Homecare operators slammed for cutting hours of Louth and Meath health care workers

Workers down to €400 per night

(Alamy/PA)

Providing workers essential homecare services to vulnerable people throughout counties Louth and Meath say they are short hundreds of euros per month following a contract change by their employer, Danu Home Care.

Danu Home Care traded as Ann’s Home Care Ireland until recently and retains the same corporate structure.

A spokesperson for the workers said they had been on seven 12-hour shifts every night and were moved to 30 hour per week contracts.

This means that they have lost 24 hours’ pay ever two weeks while doing the same number of calls. They have thus been left with a shortfall of between €250 and €400 per night.

Despite the fact that Unite organizes a majority of Danu Home Care workers in Louth and Meath, the company has so far refused to engage with the union or respond to grievances filed by workers.

“It is shameful that Danu Home Care, which is commissioned by the HSE to provide essential home care support services to vulnerable people, has decided to effectively cut the pay of the experienced and committed healthcare assistants providing these vital services,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham. “Unite will not allow this company to squeeze our members’ pay in order to further boost their profits”.

The company is an approved Health Services Executive provider of home support services for older people. In addition to the Louth and Meath home care workers represented by Unite, the company is commissioned by the HSE to provide home care services in North and South Dublin, Monaghan, Longford and Westmeath.

“This week, the HSE declined to intervene to protect the terms and conditions of the workers providing vital services to some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” added Unite regional coordinating officer Tom Fitzgerald. “Unite will be contacting the incoming Minister for Health to outline our members’ concerns and ask that he or she should step in. The company needs to be aware that we will leave no stone unturned to defend our members.”

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