Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle urges Government to engage with unions on outstanding issues in community sector

Pringle urges Government to engage with unions on outstanding issues in community sector

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has pressed Government to engage in negotiations with unions this year on outstanding issues in the community sector.

Addressing the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle said: “I welcome the recent announcement that Siptu and Fórsa members employed in community sector organisations funded by the Department of Social Protection have voted to accept the recent WRC recommended pay rise.

“I’m even happier to see the commitment by your government to engage in a mechanism for the workers to negotiate future pay rises. This is a welcome step along the road to collective bargaining for the sector and a good win for the unions involved.

“In my mind it also provides the template to resolve the remaining outstanding issues around pension provision within the sector,” he said.

The deputy raised the issue during questions on policy or legislation.

Deputy Pringle said: “And this is where I want to focus today, as in Donegal I have had numerous contacts from TUS and RSS workers coming close to retirement, who need clarity on this issue.

“It’s obvious that the Social Protection and Public Expenditure departments must be around the table with the funders and unions to move this matter to a conclusion.

“The unions are willing. The employer bodies are willing.

“So, my question to you, Tánaiste, is: Will your government give a commitment to engage in tripartite negotiations with the unions this year?”

In his response, the Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, said there has been progress, as Deputy Pringle had outlined, and said there are ongoing issues for the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Public Expenditure to resolve through engagement.