Mary addressed the important issue of fair pay and conditions for Local Authority members which is threatening the sustainability of our democracy in the Seanad this week.
The Programme for Government includes a clear commitment to deliver on fairer pay and conditions for Local Authority Members within the first year of Government.
Mary has raised the issue with the Ministers and Taoiseach and is working to ensure that Government delivers fairer compensation and working conditions for the enormous workload undertaken by Councillors in the 31 Local Authorities around the country
Local Councillors are tasked with making really important policy decisions. They drive sustainable development through strategic development plans, securing multi million euro budgets to deliver housing, roads, libraries, parks, environmental services and at the same time responding to individual constituents queries, championing their local communities and working with executives and colleagues to deliver for their communities and counties.
Local Councillors have been in the frontline throughout this pandemic. They are on-call 7 days a week, live in the heart of their communities, are always available and for all this they are not paid a living wage.
It is no exaggeration to say they are the hardest working public representatives and it is wrong to treat it as a part-time role.
Mary urged the Minister to introduce fair pay and working conditions for all Local Authority members and properly support them as they champion their communities.