CE supervisors believe that government are ignoring them

By Maurice Garvey

THE government are ignoring pension scheme claims for community employment supervisors “because they can”, according to a local working group.

On Friday, at Finnstown Castle Hotel in Lucan, a group of CE supervisors urged TD Frances Fitzgerald to support their claim for provision of a pension scheme.

CE Supervisors

The 2008 ruling for an agreed pension scheme to be introduced for workers without delay has not been implemented.

The Government have said granting pension payments would trigger further claims across the community sector.

However, according to trade unions representing the workers, this claim is “incorrect” and a position “not accepted by the Labour Court.”

Supervisors are angry that despite representation from unions SIPTU and FORSA, the government failed to engage with a forum group set up in 2015, nor did they respond to meeting requests earlier this year, prior to one day of strike action taken by CE supervisors on February 18.

Supervisors who attended Deputy Fitzgerald’s local party meet and greet event in Lucan, included Joan Hughes (Neilstown Parish Action Group), Tom Ashe (Cabhair, Clondalkin), Marian Freeman, (Dolcain Project, Bawnogue), Ann O’Loughlin, (West Dublin Disability Services), Pauline Grogan, (Gurteen Youth Club, Ballyfermot), Catherine French, (Orchard Community Development Centre), Carol Mockler, (Oblates CE, Inchicore) and Grace Wills, (CEEDS - Clondalkin Centre for the Unemployed).

Ms Wills said CE participants perform a wide variety of roles within their respective projects to deliver “vital community services.”

“CE supervisors believe the government are ignoring us because they can,” said Ms Wills.

“We are a dispersed group of workers, employed by a variety of community organisations across the country and it is hard to mobilise.  We do feel that Ministers Donohoe and Doherty should afford us the respect we deserve.  The eight supervisors mentioned have a combined service to the job and their communities of 150 years.”

Tom Ashe said supervisors “feel utterly disrespected by successive governments” and they did not make provision for their retirement as they trusted the Labour Court recommendation would be honoured.

The Government argues that supervisors are employees of private companies. 

Local supervisors say they gave Deputy Fitzgerald examples of precedents where pensions for employees of private companies are funded – citing community development programmes and local partnership companies which have funded employees’ pensions. 

The group said a Dáil vote last year supporting the call for implementation of the Labour Court recommendation received all party support except Fine Gael.

CE Supervisors across the country plan a rally outside Dáil Éireann on April 16 and say there is a  “high likelihood” of further strike action.

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