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The Labour Court recommendation was made in 2008 LEAH FARRELL
CE workers

Hundreds of employment scheme supervisors to strike over 11-year-old claim for pension rights

CE scheme supervisors will stage a 10-hour stoppage over the court’s recommendation from 2008 about their pension rights.

HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYMENT scheme supervisors are to hold a one-day strike today as they seek the implementation of an 11-year-old Labour Court recommendation.

Community Employment (CE) scheme workers represented by SIPTU will stage a 10-hour stoppage as they call for the introduction of a pension scheme.

The scheme is designed to help those who are long-term unemployed to return to work by offering part-time and temporary placements based within local communities.

The supervisors, who are privately contracted by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, oversee the progress of those who partake in the scheme.

A third of supervisors – around 400 workers – are expected to strike today.

“We’ve been trying to have the recommendation implemented for a long time,” SIPTU organiser Eddie Mullins tells TheJournal.ie.

“We got a commitment from Brendan Howlin, the previous Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in 2015 that he would resolve it, but a change in government has seen to that.”

The union also claims that a letter was circulated by the Department to those taking part in the dispute to suggest that funding for the schemes would be reduced if the strike goes ahead.

SIPTU hit back at the letter, saying its members were “greatly angered” by the move, while also claiming they had yet to hear from Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe about its demands.

The supervisors will withdraw their labour today from 8am to 6pm, while protests will also take place at the Department of Finance, as well as outside INTREO offices in Cork, Athlone, Letterkenny, Galway, and Waterford.

Contacted by TheJournal.ie, the Department said that no such letter was sent. 

Mullins has not ruled out further action if the Government does not respond to the strike.

“It’s absolutely something we’ll consider,” he says.

“There’ll be further action taken if the situation isn’t resolved. We’ll review what happens on Monday first, and then take action after that if necessary.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Employment and Social Protection offered to accommodate anyone on the scheme affected by the strike later in the week.

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