“Community Employment Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors in Clondalkin and Lucan are being frustrated in their attempts to secure occupational pensions by a Government that is unwilling to follow previous Labour Court recommendations,” said Fianna Fáil’s Chair on the Employment Affairs and Social Protection Committee, John Curran TD. Deputy Curran was commenting during a protest of CE Supervisors outside the Dáil recently; “A satisfactory pathway must be found to address the pension issue for the 1,250 CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors based on the 2008 Labour Court recommendation. “In July 2008, the Labour Court recommended that an agreed pension scheme should be introduced for CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors and that such a scheme should be adequately funded by FÁS, the funding agency responsible for CE at that time. It was estimated at the time that a figure of €3.3 million per year was required to adequate fund the pension scheme.

“A High Level Forum was set up and published a report last November which outlined the costs involved to resolve this long standing issue in November last. To date the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform has sat on his hands, failed to meet with CE Supervisors and no progress has been made for the 1,250 people affected. “I have always been a strong advocator and supporter of Community Employment Schemes in my own area of Dublin Mid-West. I recognise the valuable contributions that these schemes make in their local areas as well as the huge benefits that the participants themselves report. The positive impact of participating in a CE scheme cannot be overstated – from the confidence boost of learning new skills to the sense of belonging and community it brings. “There are thousands of people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to work in the labour market. It is in these instances where CE schemes have made a real difference.  Sports clubs, childcare facilities, resource centres and Meals on Wheels services are often staffed by CE participants. “Since the 2008 Labour Court recommendation, more than 250 have retired with no occupation pension entitlements. It has now come to the point where they are now considering industrial action due to the Government’s inaction and failure to adequately address this issue. “These employees need the Government to do the right thing, and set out a pathway to providing them with the pensions that they are owed. The Government cannot sit on its hands any longer,” concluded Deputy Curran.