Community Employment Pension Scheme: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Willie O'Dea on Tuesday, 24 April 2018:
"That Dáil Éireann:
acknowledges that:
— Community Employment (CE) schemes provide much needed services in communities throughout the country, and that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is now responsible for these schemes;
— CE schemes are designed to help those in long-term unemployment, who are disadvantaged or find it impossible to get mainstream work in their local communities;
— there are 25,000 citizens on schemes and they are managed and organised by 1,250 supervisors and assistant supervisors;
— the work of CE supervisors and assistant supervisors is integral to the overall success and implementation of the CE schemes;
— this pension grievance has been ongoing since the early 2000s and records show that some progress was made with the introduction of the Health Service Executive Home Help model;
— unions were informed that this model would form a basis for the CE supervisor pension issue;
— 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;
— FÁS attended the Labour Court hearing in 2008;
— a number of local authorities are already providing pensions to a small number of CE supervisors;
— under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, it was agreed to set up a high level forum to examine how to resolve this longstanding issue;
— the high level forum was set up, chaired by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and it outlined the costs involved to resolve this longstanding issue in November last; and
— since late 2017, a meeting has been promised between the unions representing this small group and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, but it has yet to be arranged;
accepts that the pension issue for CE supervisors and assistant supervisors has been left unresolved for far too long; and
calls for:
— industrial action to be avoided as it will have a very negative impact on local communities;
— a resolution and a satisfactory pathway to be found to address the pension issue for the 1,250 CE supervisors and assistant supervisors, based on the Labour Court recommendation of 2008;
— the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to immediately meet with unions that represent the CE supervisors and assistant supervisors so that negotiations can commence with a view to creating a process to bring this issue to finality; and
— the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to make available, even if it is on an incremental basis, the financial resources to address this issue."
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “integral to the overall success and implementation of the CE schemes” and substitute the following:
“— in July 2008, the Labour Court recommended that an agreed pension scheme should be introduced for CE supervisors and assistant supervisors;
— the employees in question are, or were, employees of private companies and have not made a pension contribution, notwithstanding the fact that the companies concerned are, or were, reliant on State funding;
— a high level forum comprising trade unions and Government departments and agencies was established to discuss certain issues pertaining to the community and voluntary sector and these discussions have included the issues arising from the 2008 Labour Court recommendation;
— any consideration of this matter must have regard to the costs and precedent of such an arrangement were one to be created, particularly in light of the large size of the community and voluntary sector in Ireland;
— in this regard, a detailed scoping exercise was carried out with input from the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) on the potential costs of providing exchequer support for the establishment of such a pension scheme for employees across the community and voluntary sector in Ireland;
— this exercise shows that this matter presents very significant issues for the exchequer, with a potential cost to the State of €188 million per annum in respect of funding to enable an employer pension contribution in State funded community and voluntary organisations, excluding any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payment of pension as sought (which could, depending on the size of the sector, entail a further exchequer cost of up to €318 million);
— while CE supervisors and assistant supervisors represent only a part of the wider community and voluntary sector, any provision of State funding for such a scheme in respect of those employees could potentially give rise to claims for similar schemes on the part of those in the broader sector, thus crystallising the potential level of liability mentioned; and
— accordingly, any solution to this issue will require careful consideration, must have regard for all community and voluntary sector employees and the implications for scarce exchequer resources.”
- (Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Michael D'Arcy)
Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 44; Níl, 84; Staon, 0.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies John Lahart and John Curran.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion agreed to.