Clubs, communities, and organisations right across the city and county will be affected from Monday when Community Employment Scheme supervisors stage a five-day strike.
The 1,250 staff nationwide concerned have no access to any occupational pension scheme, despite a Labour Court recommendation in 2008 that as the CE programme’s funding agency, the Government should provide them with one.
However, because of the economic downturn, this was never implemented, but with the economy now on a more sure footing, the unions are adamant that the Labour Court ruling should be upheld.
In Galway, around 70 supervisors overseeing more than 1,400 participants will down tools in an action that will impact massively on the operation of community projects right across every parish.
The five-day strike will impact on community employment schemes across the county including those providing childcare, elderly-care, and drug rehabilitation services.
SIPTU Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said it is deeply unfortunate but this action will inevitably have an impact on both CE schemes and the communities in which they provide services. “Participants may not get paid and progress in community schemes will be halted due to the lack of supervisory management.”
He said that Paschal Donohoe should “respect these workers and the vital community services provided by their community employment schemes.” “He must meet with their representatives to discuss why after more than 10 years they still do not have a pension.”
Up to teatime last evening (Wednesday ), the union was hoping to hear from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, but all to no avail. Rotas were last night prepared for the industrial action, amid fears that unsupervised workers face health and safety concerns, and that there will not be anyone to pay them their wages next week.
Union representatives did have a constructive meeting with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, last week, to discuss this issue. This followed effective lobbying by a CE supervisor based in Galway. However, it is clear that concrete action must be taken by the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform in order to achieve a resolution to this dispute.”
During the strike action hundreds of CE supervisors from the unions, and their supporters will attend daily protests at seven locations around the country. These include the Intreo and Revenue offices in Galway and Waterford, and political constituency offices in Dublin, Donegal, Galway, Cork, Portlaoise, and Limerick.
CE supervisors are also contacting election candidates to ensure their commitment to resolving this long running industrial dispute.