Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle seeks answers on agreed payments for CE supervisors

Pringle seeks answers on agreed payments for CE supervisors

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, is looking for Government to guarantee that Community Employment supervisors and assistant supervisors will receive the payments agreed last year.

Addressing the Dáil on Thursday during questions on policy or legislation, Deputy Pringle said: “It has been almost a year since a final settlement was reached between the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the Minister for Social Protection and the unions representing Community Employment supervisors and assistant supervisors.

“I submitted a parliamentary question last week asking when the ex-gratia payment, which was agreed upon, would be paid out to these CE workers. The answer I received back stated that discussions regarding this are ongoing. However, I know that some CE workers have already been paid the ex-gratia payment, while others are still awaiting payment a year later.

“It is not acceptable to have people waiting this long to receive a payment, especially during such a crippling cost of living crisis. This demonstrates complete disrespect for CE workers and for the unions that represent them.”

Deputy Pringle asked: “What is the real reason that many community employment supervisors, including those in my constituency of Donegal, have not been paid? And can you guarantee that this payment will be paid within the next couple of weeks?”

In response, Minister Joe O’Brien confirmed that under the terms of the settlement reached with the unions late last year, on reaching retirement age eligible CE supervisors and assistant supervisors will receive a once-off, ex-gratia payment in respect of time employed in CE schemes since 2008, and people who retired since 2008 who have reached retirement age are now eligible to apply for the payment.

He said that over the past couple of months a system was put in place to accept applications and process payments. The minister said they wrote to about 720 ex supervisors who retired since 2008. He said they’ve received about 664 applications, that 134 are ready to issue and 430 are being processed.

The minister said the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has raised a question in regard to the timing of the payments and the minister said they have written back, “letting them know that we’re ready to issue the payments”. They’re awaiting feedback he said.

Minister O’Brien said the money is there, it’s ready to be issued, “but in short, a technicality in the administrative process has arisen that we want to iron out as soon as possible.”