Community workers back 5% pay deal

CE scheme Fórsa members at a protest, representing community workers backing new pay deal

Fórsa trade union have concluded a ballot on new pay proposals, and a new mechanism for pay negotiations for Community Employment (CE) workers across the country. These community workers have now backed the 5% pay deal. The proposals were issued by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) following discussions last month with the Department of Social Protection, which funds the schemes.

In an aggregate ballot of 800 Fórsa and SIPTU members, 82% voted in favour on a ballot turnout of 60%.

The deal provides for a 5% pay improvement in two phases in 2023, in addition to a new mechanism for engagement on future pay determination.

Fórsa’s CE branch represents community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors. Union representatives were led in discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in March by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).

Community workers pay deal – what does it mean?

Fórsa official Tony Martin explained: “The new measures provide for a 3% increase in basic pay from 1st April, and a 2% increase from November.

“This is a group who provide an essential range of services in their communities, but who haven’t seen a pay improvement in a long time. While this is a welcome outcome of the WRC process, the proposals on a mechanism for future pay engagement is really very significant.

“It will mean we can commence discussions on the link between project funding and remuneration as early as this year. These discussions will be cognisant of cost-of-living and related pay increases.

“Should agreement not be possible, the parties will have recourse to a WRC conciliation process. Perhaps most significantly, the agreed mechanism will be subject to review in the first half of 2027.

“Essentially, we have access now to an agreed process on pay that wasn’t there before, and that process is subject to review. These are the kinds of measures that will help us secure improved pay measures into the future,” he said.

The deal also covers Fórsa members working at the Tús initiative, the Rural Social Scheme and the Job Initiative scheme.

There’s never been a better time to join a union, and it’s never been easier. Join Fórsa today.