The Government Amendment to the Industrial Relations (Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill
2021 — Second Stage which proposed that the Bill be read a second time this day 12 months was carried.
It is significant that the amendment omitted consultation with Retired Workers
“to allow for consultation between the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Minister for Social Protection and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, with unions and employers and the Industrial Relations bodies, which will allow for full discussion and exploration of legal and technical issues that may arise, such as increased business costs and business viability, as a result of the proposals and to consider other options for change which might be available, and which would make it more suitable for collective bargaining.” – (Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Damien English)”
Results are below.
The link below will bring you to an Oireachtas website where you can click on the Show member vote results button to see the names of TDs who voted for and against the amendment
Industrial Relations (Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill 2021: Second Stage (Resumed) [Private Members] – EDITVotes – Dáil Éireann (33rd Dáil) – 2021-06-30 – Houses of the Oireachtas
Amendment put :The Dáil divided: Tá, 74; Níl, 62; Staon, 0.
Amendment declared carried.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
The correspondence below between ESBRSA National Executive Chairman Tony Collins and Micheál Martin T.D. will show bring members up to date on the current situation.
I’m circulating an email that I received from Micheal Martin this morning & my response to that email. I think the Government parties have been rattled and taken aback by the amount of support for Brid Smith’s Bill. Jim circulated the figures for the voting on the Bill and the support for it is significant. I also believe that the Government were surprised by the support that Brid’s Bill received from representative organisations for retired workers and the strength of feeling in the way retired workers have been treated by Government parties. I believe that we need to keep the pressure on the Government and continue to lobby all Government TD’s in order to progress this issue much earlier than the 12 months indicated in the Government amendment. I would urge all branches to encourage their membership to continue with the lobbying campaign and keep the pressure on.
ReplyReply allForward———- Forwarded message ———
From: Tony Collins <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 1, 2021 at 11:40 AM
Subject: Re: Retired Workers Rights Bill
To: Micheál Martin’s Office <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Micheál Martin <email@example.com>
Thank you for your response to my email.
I have written to you on several occasions since you became Taoiseach, and this is the first response that I have received from you. I was part of a delegation that met with you and some of your party colleagues in your office at Leinster House in December 2019.
At that meeting, we discussed the range of possibilities on how pensioners could achieve a proper voice and representation/arbitration. At your suggestion it was agreed that the setting up of a separate division of the Labour Court/Workplace Relations Commission, specifically for pensioners, would be the best option for their grievances to be heard and arbitrated on.
I wrote to you personally, in the hope and expectation that you would honour your commitment made at that meeting in December 2019.
Brid Smith, her PBP colleagues and the representatives of the hundreds of thousands of retired workers who were outside Leinster House on Tuesday 29th June believe that the committee stage and detailed scrutiny processes are the forums that can be used to undertake the consultation process and hear the views of the interested parties mentioned in the Government amendment. Given the likely time frame these processes would take, it allows more than enough time for extensive consultation to be taken if that is the concern.
I listened to yesterday’s debate on the (Industrial Relations Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers Bill 2021) which was presented to the Dail by Brid Smith of People Before Profit.
The Government spokesperson, Minister Damien English, attempted to sidestep the whole issue by introducing an amendment to the Bill which would defer the second reading of the Bill for 12 months, to allow for a consultation process with relevant Ministers, Employers, Trade Unions with absolutely no mention of Retired Workers, the very people whose rights the Bill is intended to protect.
This is an insult to all parties who have campaigned for more than 10 years for the rights and protection of retired workers and to all former workers who have worked for most of their lives in building this country, who are now advanced in years, and don’t have the time to wait another 12 months. There has been more than enough time for all the parties mentioned in Government’s amendment to engage in a consultation process as this issue has been around for more than 10 years.
Previous Governments have lacked the political will to initiate change and introduce proper legal protection for pensioners and give them representation rights that they have earned throughout their working lives.
Brid Smith and her colleagues in People Before Profit have listened to former workers and have acknowledged their right to defend their pension rights once they retire and to be consulted on any changes that may affect their Pension Schemes and their future financial security.
Again, I appeal to you, and the Government, to reconsider your positions and engage with PBP in a process at committee stage that will examine and scrutinise the proposed legislation. It is a basic right that retired workers and their representative organisations are at the table and recognised when their hard-won pensions are being discussed.
This is an equality issue and any attempts to deny Retired Workers the same rights as workers are discriminatory and unjust. There should be “NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US”.
Retired Workers have not gone away and will be back with a vengeance should this Bill fail to progress to committee stage.
National Executive Chairman
ESB Retired Staff Association
Many thanks for your email and for taking the time to write to me.
The Government have agreed to put forward a 12 month timed amendment to Deputy Brid Smith’s Bill – Industrial Relations (Provisions in respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill 2021- to allow for consultation between the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Minister for Social Protection and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, with unions and employers and the Industrial Relations bodies. This will allow space and time for a full discussion and exploration of legal and technical issues that may arise as a result of the proposals and to consider other options for change which might be available, and which would make it more suitable for collective bargaining.
I recognise that this is a long-running issue for you and members of your association but I want to take this opportunity to assure you that the Government genuinely wants to examine the issue and engage on it with parties from across the sector, including engaging with affected retired workers. It is imperative that as a Government we interrogate this complex mater carefully and tease out its implications. This work will be led by the aforementioned Ministers.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes,
Micheál Martin T.D.
Department of the Taoiseach | Upper Merrion Street | Dublin 2 | Ireland | D02 R583
Roinn an Taoisigh | Sráid Mhuirfeán Uachtarach | Baile Átha Cliath 2 | Éire | D02 R583
Designated Public Official under Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2015, www.lobbying.ie
Oifigeach Poiblí Sainithe faoin Acht um Brústocaireacht a Rialáil 2015.