'Martin Luther King said he has a dream but we also have a dream;' Community employment supervisors demand pension rights

'Martin Luther King said he has a dream but we also have a dream;' Community employment supervisors demand pension rights
Hundreds of CE Supervisors staged a one day strike 

COMMUNITY employment scheme supervisors from Cork and all over Ireland staged a strike over pensions today.

Section 39 workers whose pay was cut during the recession and was never restored also joined the protest.

Community employment scheme employees and supervisors marched from the Custom House in Dublin to the Department of Finance to call on the incoming Government to address their demands.

They want ministers to implement a Labour Court recommendation issued in 2008 that a pension scheme be put in place for them. Some 12 years on, they are still waiting.

It has been reported that 1,200 Community employment scheme supervisors have been overseeing 900 state funded services for almost 30 years but do not count as public secotor workers and dont recieve the state pension. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
It has been reported that 1,200 Community employment scheme supervisors have been overseeing 900 state funded services for almost 30 years but do not count as public secotor workers and dont recieve the state pension. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

The Government has said community employment scheme supervisors are not considered to be public sector workers so they receive the state pension when they retire.

Protesters called on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation which ruled that a pension scheme should be put in place for the supervisors.

Ian Thomas, from Co Cork, who has worked as a CE supervisor for 25 years, called on the incoming Government to address their demands "for once and for all".

"We are still waiting for our pension 12 years after we went to the Labour Court. It appears to me that the Government is giving two fingers to the Labour Court," he said.

"Martin Luther King said he has a dream but we also have a dream and we have a Labour Court recommendation in our favour.

"I would like to tell the incoming government three things: respect the Labour Court, respect the Labour Court recommendations, and implement the recommendations and implement them now."

Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

A spokesperson for the Cork group of CE supervisors, Patricia Sahbani, accused the Department of Social Protection of engaging in mistruths.

Ms Sahbani, who has three children and a mortgage, said there would be industrial action locally every week from next week until March in an attempt to find a resolution to the ongoing pension issue.

“I think the community don’t realise the knock-on effect there would be if there were no CE schemes. We are ingrained in the local community, from sports pitches to meals on wheels, Scouting Ireland to Muinter na Tire, childcare, healthcare and the YMCA.”

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