SIPTU is aware that many aspects of vital community and voluntary work are not appreciated by the wider public, and funding decision makers. This creates additional difficulties at a time of dwindling budgets resulting from the substantial reduction of the block grant from Westminster. We believe over 3,000 workers in the sector or approximately 10% of the numbers employed have lost their jobs over the previous two years. It is vital that we ensure that organisations providing vital services to the community are better protected.
As part of our campaign, SIPTU is hosting a celebration of Community and Voluntary organisations in the Long Gallery in Stormont. The purpose of the event is to allow organisations with SIPTU membership the opportunity to display their professionalism directly with the political representatives. In addition we wish to provide each organisation attending the opportunity to invite the political representatives to visit the organisations in their own constituencies so that they might engage directly with service users, volunteers and workers. Each organisation will have a table if required to display information relating to their organisation, and to share with interested parties. We also believe this event will be an ideal opportunity for organisations to engage with each other and share information. MLAs from the five main political parties have assisted us in the organisation of the celebration.
We will also be using the event to build support for the introduction of a fair play/ threshold of decency clause into every contract issued by the Government for public procurement contracts issued to the sector. This campaign hopes to build upon the commitment to introduce Social Clauses in the draft Programme for Government. We also hope to have some key speakers at the event to make it as inclusive and informative as possible for all stakeholders in the sector. SIPTU will be providing greater details of the planned event which is scheduled for the 28th May 2012 between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm.
If you or your organisation would like to attend contact SIPTU at firstname.lastname@example.org or 048 90 314000