Sense of urgency needed on pay if Community Employment is to be sustained – Claire Kerrane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has called for urgent government action to address long-running concerns raised by Community Employment (CE) Supervisors & Assistant Supervisors regarding pay-related issues.
Raising the matter in the Dáil earlier today, Teachta Kerrane raised concerns around pay and working conditions CE Supervisors across the State are facing.
In response, Minister O’Brien confirmed that the Department for Social Protection require sanction from the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to allow them to enter talks legitimately at the Workplace Relations Commission.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“It is clear that urgent action is needed to address the employment concerns of CE Supervisors.
“I spoke today about the experience of a CE Supervisor who has been left with no option but to resign due to the ongoing employment issues she has been facing.
“She was running a scheme with over 30 participants supporting 20 sponsors and which spanned an area of 85km, without the support of an Assistant Supervisor which couldn’t be recruited due to the low levels of pay on offer.
“This is not a one-off experience. Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues have heard from countless other CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors who are in the same situation.
“CE schemes provide incredibly valuable community services and supports in every County across the State, and we must make sure that those running the schemes are provided with adequate pay and working conditions. If we do not, we will lose more good people and it is communities that will suffer.
“The Minister confirmed to me today that the Department for Social Protection are willing to engage with CE Supervisors on pay, which is welcome.
“However, he noted that the Department require sanction of funds from DPER in order to move forward with this process, which they have not yet received.
“I am calling for DPER to give the go-ahead, so this engagement to begin. We need urgent action in relation to this issue and I will continue to push for buy-in from all relevant Departments to resolve this matter.
“It is also important that we go further, and I am glad that Minister O’Brien agreed with me that we need to look at all Schemes - that includes the Rural Social Scheme and Tús.”