Ahead of this week's meeting of full council People Before Profit has given its backing to workers in the Supporting People Programme.

Derry City and Strabane District councillors have been asked to lend their support to a motion which will read: “That this council recognises the specialist work being carried out by frontline workers through the Supporting People Programme and backs the workers trade union, UNISON in their call for an, independent review into the Supporting People Programme.

“Any such review must have the direct involvement of UNISON, with a specific focus of highlighting the experiences and work completed by frontline workers.”

UNISON Community Branch activists, with the support of others, have undertaken a commitment to bring about change within the Department for Communities and Housing Executive funded, Supporting People Programme.

Workers in the programme provide housing related support services, help people affected by domestic violence, those with addictions, families with child protection concerns, people in need of benefit advice and more.

People Before Profit representative Eamonn McCann said: "People Before Profit encourage broad support for the UNISON Community Branch led rally at the Housing Executive and for the Supporting People Programme motion to Council this Tuesday.

"We are proud to have backed the Supporting People Campaign since its launch and have encouraged our members and supporters to actively participate in the campaign.
"We want to commend the Supporting People Campaign for its relentless organising efforts."
He added: "Supporting People Programme workers provide essential services that many thousands of people in our communities depend on. However, funding cuts are undermining workers morale and leaving services short of what is needed. Workers who face year on year pay cuts are not being treated fairly or with respect. The lack of proper funding is also a disservice to those who are dependent on the Supporting People Programme.
"For all these reasons we fully back the demand to reverse cuts and to see significant increases in funding to bring about pay equality, better terms and conditions for workers; and, to provide the best possible services for all those dependent on the Supporting People Programme.
"Action on this has been delayed for far too long. Frustration is building. It's time for decision makers to act.
"People Before Profit will continue to assist the campaign in whatever way we can to win proper funding for this vital community service and to defend workers rights."

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