Deal finally agreed for personal assistants


After nearly nine months the JHL trade union managed to negotiate improvements to the pay and conditions of personal assistants but not before workers in the sector took strike action for the first time. A key aim for the union was to reduce the gap between pay for personal assistants and pay levels in the rest of the social care sector. There will be a €400 payment (adjusted for hours and length of service) to compensate for the delay in finalising the agreement. There will be different pay increases according to the pay level ranging from 3.98% to 6.77% on 1 January 2024 and then from 4.79% to 6.53% on 1 July 2024. The union is positive about the outcome which includes new pay levels and extra compensation for long shifts. Recognising the need for higher increases for this group of workers, JHL managed to negotiate increases that are above the overall trend in the labour market, something that may prove impossible in future if the government’s proposed labour market reforms are implemented.

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