CE supervisors and assistant supervisors will take industrial action for five consecutive days in May
Community employment (CE) supervisors who are members of SIPTU and Fórsa trade unions have announced an escalation of industrial action in a dispute about pensions.
CE supervisors and assistant supervisors will engage in five consecutive days of strike action, commencing on Monday 13th May.
The 2008 Labour Court recommendation states an agreed pension scheme should be introduced and adequately funded by the recognised funding agency. That responsibility falls upon the Government.
Union members have also commenced a campaign to lobby local and European election candidates ahead of elections in May.
The unions announced the escalation of the industrial action at a press briefing in Dublin this morning (Tuesday).
The briefing was followed by a rally of union members at Leinster House. Members of both unions travelled from all counties to highlight their 11-year dispute over pensions.
The 1,250 staff concerned have no access to any occupational pension scheme, despite a 2008 Labour Court recommendation. A one-day strike by CE supervisors and assistant supervisors took place in February.
SIPTU sector organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “Our members have taken the difficult decision to engage in five consecutive days of industrial action in May. They are doing so because all other options have been exhausted.
“This action will inevitably disrupt the wide range of community services delivered locally by community employment schemes around the country. The only way this can be averted is for the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe to agree to meet us to discuss the implementation of the 2008 Labour Court recommendation,” he said.
Currently there are 25,000 people engaged in the CE schemes providing vital community services including childcare, elder care, disability services and a range of community-based education and training programmes.
The action will inevitably disrupt the wide range of community services delivered by community employment schemes around the country.
As part of its campaign union members have begun lobbying local and European election candidates ahead of elections in May, with members expected to intensify their lobbying efforts over the next few weeks.
Fórsa head of division, Angela Kirk, said: “The 2008 Labour Court recommendation states an agreed pension scheme should be introduced and adequately funded by the recognised funding agency. That responsibility falls upon the Government.
“In 2015, in recognition of this particular matter, it was agreed as part of the Lansdowne Road Agreement to establish a high level forum to deal with the issue of pensions for CE supervisors and other matters relating to the community and voluntary sector.
“The forum has not met since December 2017 and the Government seems intent to wash its hands of the matter. This is unacceptable. There is no alternative for members but to escalate their industrial action.
“Our objective is to secure a meeting with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, to find a way forward on this issue,” she said.
More than 250 supervisors have retired with no occupational pension since the 2008 Labour Court recommendation was published. Between 30 and 40 supervisors and assistant supervisors are currently retiring each year.