Retired Workers Group Representing Thousands Of Pensioners Call For Cross Party Support For Representation Bill

Campaign for a right to representation Bill backed by numerous groups of retired workers

Next week the Dáil will debate a Bill introduced by Bríd Smith TD of People Before Profit which seeks to grant new rights to pensioners and retired workers representative associations.

The Industrial Relations Amendment Bill would give retired workers and their associations the right to go to the WRC when their occupational scheme has been affected, regardless of the length of time the workers concerned have been retired from their workplace.

It would also grant extra rights to consultation on any proposed changes to their schemes which may impact their benefits and entitlements.

The Bill has the support of associations representing over 100,000 pensioners and retired workers, many in the semi state and public sector. The Alliance of Retired Public Servants alone represents 21 affiliated pensioner organisations and has in excess of 140,000 affiliated members.

Other groups include the Senior Citizens Parliament, The National Federation of Pensioners Associations, and the Retired Staff Associations of both the ESB and RTÉ among many others. (Full list in notes)

The campaign to back the Bill will be intensifying the lobbying of all TDs and Government parties in the run up to next week’s debate and vote.

They plan a socially distanced protest outside the Dáil on Tuesday 29th June at 12 noon and will be hosting a Webinar open to the public on Monday 28th June at 2pm to publicise the bill and appeal for support for the measures.

Representatives of the associations are available to speak to the press and explain their case.

Many have decades of service in the various state, public and semi state workplaces and have been particularly affected by changes to their schemes over the last decade without any right to redress or consultation.

The Bill will be debated on Wednesday 30th June at 10am, it is tabled by People Before Profit and currently has the support of Sinn Fein, Labour, Social Democrats and several Independents. Several Fianna Fáil and Green party TDs have expressed private support for the measures, but the stance of the Government parties is not yet known.

The Bill amends the Industrial Relations Act and would allow representative associations of retired workers take cases to the WRC where occupational pension schemes were affected, and allow for them to be consulted in advance of any deal or proposed deal that involved changes to pensions schemes of retired workers. It would strengthen the rights of retired workers to be on board of trustees of their schemes.

Notes for Editors:

The Bill is supported by the following associations and their spokespersons are available for comment: Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, National Federation of Pensioners Association, Alliance of Retired Public Servants, CIE Salaried Pensioners Association, ESB Retired Staff Association, Retired Aviation Staff Association, RTÉ Retired Staff Association, Retired Members Association TUI, Association of Eircom Pensioners, Retired Secondary Teachers Associations, An Post Pensioners Campaign, Bord Gais Pensioners Association, Bord Na Móna, Dublin Port Pensioner’s Association, Retired Civil and Public Servants Association.

See attached for Bill and Explanatory Memorandum

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