Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has called on the Minister for Public Expenditure to explain why there has been no movement on a pension scheme for Community Employment Scheme supervisors.
The issue has been on the table for well over a decade but progress has stalled.
Deputy Calleary organised a debate on the issue in the Dáil during the week. Speaking during it he said, “Community Employment Schemes play an essential role in in helping people get back to work in our towns and villages. Supervisors provide participants with support and offer experience and assistance in preparing them for the workplace. Despite their invaluable role, they currently have no pension provision at all.
“In 2008, the Labour Court decided that supervisors should receive pension entitlements and FÁS put aside €10 million to put a pension scheme in place. However, there has been virtually no movement on this issue since then. Understandably, supervisors, many of whom have retired, have become incredibly frustrated and feel completely abandoned by the system. Their commitment to their schemes, which goes way beyond normal employment hours, is phenomenal but is not being recognised.
“I cannot understand why there has been no progress on this issue, especially when money has been set aside to deal specifically with it. I understand that a “high level forum” has been set up to discuss the issue, but at this stage we want to see more than empty words and promises. The State needs to reward these supervisors for their work within their communities and ensure that they have proper pension provision.
“The SIPTU and IMPACT unions, which represent the supervisors, are due to meet with the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform next week and I will be pressing Minister Donohoe for an update on this important issue following it”.