Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor
Fianna Fáil Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has said that the Government must act quickly to resolve the proposed five days of industrial action by Community Employment scheme supervisors from Monday, May 13.
Hundreds of employment scheme supervisors are to hold a one-day strike as they seek the implementation of an 11-year-old Labour Court recommendation on the introduction of a pension scheme.
The CE scheme is designed to help those who are long-term unemployed to return to work by offering part-time and temporary placements based within local communities.
The supervisors, who are privately contracted by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, oversee the progress of those who partake in the scheme.
Senator Murnane O’Connor said: "Fianna Fáil has always been a strong supporter and advocate of CE Schemes, one of the first began in Graiguecullen/Killeshin Parish CLG.
"These programmes not only benefit participants but also the community by providing essential services.
"From Monday CE Supervisors will strike to highlight their lack of pension entitlements.
"I believe the Minister for Social Protection must step in immediately to address their concerns and resolve this industrial action for the sake of those who depend on the services provided for under CE Schemes.
"I raised this issue in Seanad Eireann back in January directly with Minister Regina Doherty and I am bitterly disappointed to see that the no action has been taken to stop the strike."
She added: "I am even more disappointed to see that Graiguecullen/Killeshin Parish CLG have had to write to the Minister and ask her to clarify whether or not participants will be legally covered to work during the strike, whether they will be paid directly from social welfare and whether participants will be guaranteed their place back on the scheme the following week.
"This is not fair; CE schemes are an integral part of our communities and I want to see them continue but be strengthened.
"There are a great number of families who rely on the services operated by CE Schemes including Meals on Wheels, local Community Centres and childcare facilities. Investing in the provision of CE schemes represents good value for money."
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