Supervisors on community employment schemes to strike

Workers to stage 12 hour stoppage on Monday in dispute over pensions

Patricia King of Ictu says a pension ‘is one of the things that marks out decent employers from those who wish to exploit ordinary working people’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Patricia King of Ictu says a pension ‘is one of the things that marks out decent employers from those who wish to exploit ordinary working people’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Supervisors and assistant supervisors working on community employment schemes are to go on strike for 12 hours on Monday.

The staff concerned, who are members of the trade unions Siptu and Fórsa, will stage the work stoppage as part of a dispute over pensions.

Unions said the supervisors and assistant supervisors on community employment schemes were going on strike “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”.

The general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Patricia King said on Friday it was “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”.

She said “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”.

Ms King maintained the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection had in recent days written to sponsors of community employment schemes advising that funding may be reduced as a result of the planned industrial action.

“The 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”, she said.

Unions maintained the claim by supervisors and assistant supervisors working on community employment schemes for a pension had been supported by the Labour Court and by Dáil Éireann which had passed a motion calling on the Government to put in place such arrangements.