UNI Global Union affiliate, the National Federation of Women Workers, FENAMUTRA, and CONAPE, the official body in charge of defining and implementing public policies for Older Adults in the Dominican Republic, signed an agreement on 12 May to provide training for 200 care workers.
The agreement aims to train care workers in order to provide a better service in the care of the elderly: “This is an alliance for the welfare of our workers as well as a sector of the population that needs special care. In order to train more workers and to continue transforming the quality of life of older adults, we signed this agreement,” said Ruth Diaz, president of the Federation.
The first workers that will receive the training are workers from the “Hogares de Cariño” programme that gives economic incentives to families who take in older adults, but without an employment framework. This agreement between FENAMUTRA and CONAPE is projected as a plan to continue improving the conditions of this segment of workers in order to guarantee all labour rights and, in the future, the full formalization of the sector.
FENAMUTRA also submitted for consideration a proposal to regulate working hours, as many workers take care of their own family members and do not have the free time, in this case, to attend trainings. FENAMUTRA also proposed these workers to be considered for social security contributions.
“FENAMUTRA and CONAPE have set a great example for Latin America. The working conditions of caregivers are the conditions of care for our seniors. This agreement moves the Dominican Republic closer in the development of a national care system that recognizes these workers,” said Alan Sable, regional director of UNI Care Americas. “This is the initial step to continue working towards the formalisation of all workers in the sector. Caregivers and those they care for deserve systems with formal work, access to training, and the opportunity to organise,” he said.
The country’s Law 352-98 on the Protection of the Elderly (1981) considers the elderly to be those over 65 years of age and aims to “lay the institutional foundations and establish procedures that allow for the comprehensive protection of the elderly”. It is within this framework that this agreement was drawn up.
FENAMUTRA aims to promote training, gender equity and equality and human rights for the benefit of care workers. The aim of this agreement is not only to highlight the invaluable work of women in the world of care, but also to strengthen and train them in the support of the population.only to highlight the invaluable work of women in the world of care, but also to strengthen and train them in the support of the population.