Top of the Hill community worker Karen Mullan says colleagues have suffered an effective 30 per cent cut in real wages over the past eight years.
Ms Mullan, who is the manager of Hillcrest House in Top of the Hill and a SIPTU activist, called for the Government to actively engage with unions to address cuts across the sector.
She claimed that many workers have not received a cost of living increase over the previous eight years, during which inflation has averaged three per cent per year.
This, in effect, has resulted in workers suffering a 30 per cent pay cut over the period, Ms Mullan argued.
She said: “The many issues in the community sector need to be dealt with in a high level forum, which would bring together unions and decision-makers.
“The establishment of such a high level forum for the community sector would allow many issues to be resolved, and the needs of all the stakeholders to be addressed.”
SIPTU Sector Organiser Martin O’Rourke said: “SIPTU members in the community sector provide crucial support to many people within our society including the elderly, people with disabilities, young people and vulnerable families.
“Work in the Sector is focused on areas such as providing childcare, combating poverty, supporting those with mental health issues, human rights advocacy and family support.
“It is completely unacceptable that workers providing such vital services to their communities now face losing their jobs without receiving their full legal entitlements from the very Government Departments which administrated and funded the programmes they delivered.”