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Posted on 3 Jul 2020 1:36 am
Minister McGrath below is a copy of your speech from The Community Employment Pension Scheme: Motion [Private Members] on the 24th April 2018, when you spoke in support of our claim for a Gratuity payment.
It bears no resemblance to the answer you gave today. In fact it’s a complete contradiction.
Read it and hang your head in shame.
Deputy Michael McGrath
I thank my colleagues, Deputies O'Dea, Butler and Calleary, for their consistent work on the issue. I acknowledge and thank all those supervisors and assistant supervisors in attendance for tonight's debate.
In many respects they are tired of being told they are great and how good a job they are doing in their communities. They want action and they want movement on this issue. For all of the other Opposition Deputies who have used this debate as a platform for attacking Fianna Fáil, I would remind them this is a debate brought about by Fianna Fáil tabling this Private Members' motion with a view to bringing about a solution to this issue.
As has been said, time is not on the side of many of the supervisors and assistant supervisors. Some 250 have already retired and some have gone to their eternal reward. The fact the Government is clinging to the issue of it not being a party to the Labour Court recommendation does not stand up to scrutiny. The State is ultimately underpinning these CE schemes and needs to find a way of giving effect to the Labour Court recommendation. Governments always accept Labour Court recommendations in principle and the Government should do so in this matter as well.
It is indisputable that there has been considerable procrastination. This issue has been dragged out time and again. If the Government is not going to do anything about this, it should be honest. Instead of talking about another review or another forum, it should just say it and be honest with those involved. Of course, wider implications have to be considered but these need to be teased out in a professional way. Are there other categories of employees who are comparable and who have a similar Labour Court recommendation in their back pocket? I certainly do not know of any.
The Minister needs to meet the unions and find a way forward. I am a firm believer that if the political will is there, any issue can be resolved. This issue can certainly be resolved. I want to reassure the House that Fianna Fáil is committed to resolving this issue.
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