SIPTU calls on government to avert closure of Waterford Area Partnership
SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to intervene in order to save the Waterford Area Partnership (WAP) following the publication of a report earlier this week which suggested that the organisation was “not viable” due to governance and financial issues. The review of WAP was carried out by Crowe Howarth consultants on behalf of the government funding body, POBAL.
SIPTU Organiser, Ger Malone, said: “We are calling on the Government to intervene in order to save the WAP and the vital community services it provides. Specifically, the Minister of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys, must take action to meet the challenges highlighted in the report. Following its publication this week, SIPTU members employed by WAP are very concerned for their jobs and the vital social services they provide for the local community.
“The staff have essentially been left in the dark about the challenges facing the Partnership which have resulted from management decisions in which they were not involved. Management has so far failed to engage in discussions with union representatives on these issues.
“SIPTU representatives have written to Minister Humphreys calling on her to directly intervene in this situation. We have also written to POBAL and Waterford City and County councils seeking discussions on the report’s findings and a mechanism to deal with the issues it has raised.
“The workers employed through WAP have the commitment, skills and competencies to deliver essential community services. The Minister must establish a task group, which includes all stakeholders and has the necessary competencies and resources to deal with the problems faced by the Partnership.
“Communities in Waterford need the services, which include vital social inclusion schemes. The workers employed by WAP are experts in delivering these services. What is now required is the political will, the appropriate management expertise, and the finances to deal with the issues raised by the report.”
She added: “We are calling on all elected representatives in Waterford, both local and national, to support our call to rescue the Partnership. The services that are provided through its structures are more vital than ever during the current Covid-19 crisis. The funding, governance and management issues that have been highlighted must be addressed so that these vital services are maintained.”