Tús is a work initiative that commenced operation in 2011 as a response to high levels of unemployment at that time.
The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) is an income support initiative that provides part-time employment opportunities in the community and voluntary organisations for farmers or fisherman and woman who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments and who are underemployed in their primary occupation.
Both schemes are delivered by a network of local development companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta. The Irish Local Development Network represents the local development companies.
The Department has established regular check-point meetings for representatives of the schemes as well as with the schemes themselves. For example, officials meet with the ILDN approximately every two months. Tús, RSS and the ILDN representatives are in attendance at the Employment Support Schemes Operational Forum established in 2021 which meets three to four time each year. I attend this meeting, along with my officials.
My officials met with union representatives of RSS and Tús schemes, as well as representatives of both schemes, on the of 6th April last and discussed a range of issues including cross cutting human resource policy issues of concern, including pay and conditions. While the Department is not the employer of RSS or Tús supervisors, these engagements will continue and will continue to include RSS representatives.
My Department and I will continue to engage with all scheme representatives across all forums in order to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders involved in the delivery of these important state funded programmes.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.