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CE supervisors to stage five-day strike

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019 4:52pm

Services like childcare, meals-on-wheels and drug rehabilitation could face disruptions next week when community employment (CE) supervisors begin five days of strike action.

CE supervisors from the unions Fórsa and SIPTU will begin strike action on Monday 13 May for five days in a row over pension rights.

SIPTU Sector Organiser Eddie Mullins says, that although it is not known exactly how many services in Cork will be affected, there are at least 100 schemes in the city and county employing CE staff.

“These include community-based projects like childcare, meals-on-wheels, drug rehab projects, elder care, youth projects, community radio stations and Tidy Towns services,” he told the Cork Independent.

Unions say the 1,250 staff concerned have no access to any occupational pension scheme, despite a 2008 Labour Court recommendation in their favour.

The Labour Court said an agreed pension scheme should be introduced and funded by the recognised funding agency. Unions have said this responsibility falls upon the Government.

Supervisors will hold daily protests around the country, including at Simon Coveney’s constituency office in Carrigaline and at the offices of several senior political figures in Cork.

Other locations confirmed by Fórsa include Intreo and Revenue offices in Galway and Waterford and political constituency offices in Cork, Dublin, Donegal, Galway, Portlaoise and Limerick.

Hundreds of CE supervisors and assistant supervisors staged a one-day strike in February over the pension issue, with unions saying action can be averted if Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe agrees to meet to discuss the implementation of the Court recommendation.

“We’ll be arranging protests in these locations on each day of strike action, and we’ll be taking the opportunity to canvas the public to support our campaign of action in the run up to the local and European elections on 24 May,” Fórsa official Brendan O’Hanlon said.

Unions met Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty, a meeting that was initially arranged to discuss the union’s concerns over non-compliance with an enhanced redundancy agreement for CE supervisors. The meeting, however, did include some discussion about pensions, the issue behind the planned industrial action.

Union officials described the meeting as “constructive” but confirmed the strike action is set to proceed.

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