A one day strike by community employment (CE) supervisors and assistant supervisors is taking place next Monday (18th February). The industrial action follows a 10-year dispute over pensions. The 1,250 staff concerned have no access to any occupational pension scheme, despite a 2008 Labour Court recommendation. The unions will stage a protest rally protest rally at the Department of Finance, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin between 12 noon and 2pm.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions issued the following statement today:
On Monday 18 February 2019 members of Fórsa and SIPTU who are employed as supervisors and assistant supervisors in Community Employment schemes will go on strike for 12 hours.
These workers are taking strike action as a last resort and in an effort to persuade Government to negotiate with them so that they can have access to an occupational pension scheme and a decent income in retirement. Their claim for a pension scheme has been supported by the Labour Court and by Dáil Eireann who passed a motion calling on Government to put in place pension arrangements for these workers.
The existence of a pension scheme is one of the things that marks out decent employers from those who wish to exploit ordinary working people.
Congress general secretary Patricia King said today: “It is an outrage that these workers do not have access to an employer sponsored occupational pension scheme. The existence of such a scheme is one of the things that marks out decent employers from those who wish to exploit ordinary working people. The fact that workers in these state sponsored schemes are denied this basic entitlement is not acceptable.” Patricia King went on to say that “in many cases these workers are involved in the provisions of essential services that are relied upon by some of the most vulnerable communities in our society”.
The Government should immediately engage with the representatives with a view to providing access to an occupational pension scheme.
The Congress general secretary further expressed concern that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has in recent days written to sponsors of Community Employment schemes advising that funding may be reduced as a result of this industrial action.
The Congress general secretary went on to to say that Government “should immediately engage with the representatives of this group of workers with a view to providing these workers with access to an occupational pension scheme.”