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Community Employment Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (424)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

424. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will revise the offer of a gratuity payment to community employment supervisors as part of the long-standing pension claim; if she will consider an earlier start date given that a large cohort of community employment supervisors are not being adequately rewarded; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [61682/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

As the Deputy will be aware, CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors have been seeking for several years, through their union representatives, SIPTU and Forsa, the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme for CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors who are employed by CE scheme sponsors.

This claim creates some difficulties because the State is not the employer of the CE supervisors.

Within this context, officials from my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform held discussions on proposals to progress and resolve this complex issue, while having regard to the wider budgetary framework. Department officials also held discussions with unions representing CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors.

At the start of April this year, agreement was reached between the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister for Social Protection on proposals to resolve the long-standing issue. These proposals included a financial package.

Since that time, discussions on these proposals took place between my Department and the unions representing CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors, in consultation with other relevant Government Departments; the Department of Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance.

Department officials wrote to both SIPTU and Fórsa recently setting out the terms of a full and final settlement which will involve a once off ex-gratia payment to CE supervisors and assistant supervisors on reaching pension age. The total value of the financial package now on the table is in excess of €24 million.

The scheme will apply to CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors who have retired since 2008, subject to qualifying criteria, and has the potential to benefit up to 2,200 existing and former CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors.

The LCR recommendation issued in 2008. This is why employment as a CE supervisor or assistant supervisor, from this date, is covered by the terms of the settlement for this ex-gratia payment.

The current proposal is now under consideration by the representative unions and it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.

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