Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Employment, Regina Doherty, to confirm if it is her intention to proceed with proposed changes to the pension liability of Community Employment (CE) Schemes. Deputy McGrath was speaking as concerns grow that the future of the Scheme will be under active threat if each CE Scheme becomes responsible for the pension payments of its Supervisors:
“It is extremely difficult to see how the government and the Minister can see this situation ending positively.
We know that the 2008 Labour Court Recommendation made it clear that the state is obliged to make pension provision for CE Scheme Supervisors.
They cannot simply go on ignoring that because the judgement didn’t go their way.
We have already seen what a single 24 hour strike by the CE Scheme Supervisors can do in terms of significant inconvenience to many services like Meals on Wheels and Tidy Towns-which are CE Scheme supported.
What I am asking is that the Minister, in cooperation with her colleague, the Minister for Finance review the results of the High Level Forum that debated this matter in 2017.
While that Forum accepted a limited exposure to the state with respect to costs, it also made clear that the contribution of CE Schemes at the community level is one of invaluable social importance.
We cannot adopt a penny wise-but-pound foolish approach to this matter, especially as I say, given the enormous contribution that the CE Supervisors have made over the years and in the legitimate expectation that the 2008 Labour Court recommendation would be acted up by government,” concluded,” Deputy McGrath.