Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Community Employment Schemes
432. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the up-to-date position regarding the provision of pensions or other beneficial payments for current and former community employment supervisors; if her attention has been drawn to the upset caused by the recent offer made by her Department; if the amount offered will be revised upwards; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [62922/21]
As the Deputy will be aware, CE supervisors and CE assistant supervisors have been seeking for several years, through their union representatives, SIPTU and Fórsa, 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.
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.
As this proposal is currently under consideration by the representative unions, CE supervisors and assistant supervisors should raise concerns or issues that may arise, with their union. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.