The Alliance of Retired Public Service Employees (ARPS) has, in recent years sought to secure some formal recognition for the rights of retired workers in the industrial relations process in matters that impact on pensions.
Ms Bríd Smith, TD, has taken a particular interest in this matter and has put significant work and commitment into drafting the INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (PROVISIONS IN RESPECT OF PENSION ENTITLEMENTS OF RETIRED WORKERS) BILL 2021.
This Bill had its second reading in the Dáil on June 29th, 202, t when a government amendment to defer further consideration of the Bill for a period of 12 months was carried. While this is a disappointing outcome for all those working with Ms Smith to progress this matter, the Government parties did not vote against the Bill which is significant. The deferral is ostensibly “to allow for consultation 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...”
The Alliance is disappointed that the amendment does not specifically reference it as one of the groups to be included in the consultation process. Nonetheless, it will remain actively involved with the process and will continue to engage with Oireachtas members to secure their support for the Bill when it comes back to the Dáil in 12 months time.
The support of individual unions and of the Irish Congress Of Trade Unions (ICTU), which have been lukewarm towards the Bill, will also be canvassed in the interim.