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Community employment supervisors strike over pension rights

PA Media logo PA Media 4 days ago By Aine McMahon PA
a group of people holding a sign: Community Employment scheme supervisors at the Custom House in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA) © Brian Lawless Community Employment scheme supervisors at the Custom House in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Hundreds of community employment scheme supervisors staged a strike over pensions on Friday.

Section 39 workers whose pay was cut during the recession and was never restored also joined the protest.

Community employment scheme employees and supervisors marched from the Custom House in Dublin to the Department of Finance to call on the incoming Government to address their demands.

They want ministers to implement a Labour Court recommendation issued in 2008 that a pension scheme be put in place for them. Some 12 years on, they are still waiting.

The Government has said community employment scheme supervisors are not considered to be public sector workers so they receive the state pension when they retire.

Protesters called on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation which ruled that a pension scheme should be put in place for the supervisors.

Ian Thomas, from Co Cork, who has worked as a CE supervisor for 25 years, called on the incoming Government to address their demands “for once and for all”.

“We are still waiting for our pension 12 years after we went to the Labour Court. It appears to me that the Government is giving two fingers to the Labour Court,” he said.

“Martin Luther King said he has a dream but we also have a dream and we have a Labour Court recommendation in our favour.

“I would like to tell the incoming government three things: respect the Labour Court, respect the Labour Court recommendations, and implement the recommendations and implement them now.”

a group of people looking at a sign: Community employment scheme supervisors at Custom House in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA) © Provided by PA Media Community employment scheme supervisors at Custom House in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Labour TD Ged Nash said that, while he regrets the closure of hundreds of projects around the country, Labour supports the supervisors’ strike action.

“While it will inconvenience many people, this just highlights that the work of CE supervisors is so valuable,” he said.

“Fine Gael has failed to seriously engage with CE supervisors. Labour ensured their issues were included in the 2015 Haddington Road Agreement, but the current Fine Gael Government has done very little in the meantime.

“Government or public bodies should never ignore the rulings of the Labour Court. The Government should meet with Siptu without delay to work out a way forward for this group of workers who have been badly let down by Fine Gael.”

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