LEVY FOR LIFE
ON OUR PENSIONS
THE GOVERNMENT’S LEGACY
Click Here for Link to Radio Kerry Interview with ESBRSA Chairman Tony Collins re 7.7% Pension Raise Claim
UPDATE 7th September, 2021
With regret we inform you of the death of Paddy Ó Callináin (Foxrock, Dublin 18 and formerly Clonakilty, West Cork, and late of E.S.B.)
His funeral takes place next Friday morning 10th September 2021 in Foxrock Church and it can be viewed on the link in his funeral notice below :
UPDATE 11th July, 2021
Thanks to David Grundy two photos of groups of Communications Section, System Operations Dept. members dating from the late 1960s have been added to the Gallery.
UPDATE 2nd July, 2021
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
119 Elton Court, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, W23 Y4E4
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.
UPDATE 29th June, 2021
After 12 Years of Frozen Pensions Government kicks the can down the road for ANOTHER year !
Photos Thanks to Michael Hughes
See email from Brid Smith’s office with Government response to her Bill. It’s ironic that there’s no mention of retired workers in their response. They also talk about collective bargaining, an option currently not available to retired workers. I’m glad to see that PBP are going to test the waters and seek a vote on the Bill.
Tony Collins Chairman ESBRSA National Executive Committee
We just got this from the Government.
Its an amendment to the bill.
Technically it means they are not opposing the bill but want to delay its progress for 12 months to undertake this consultation process.
Its worth noting that the one group they seemed to have forgot to mention in terms of future consultation are retired workers!
In one sense this is a victory of sorts but in another way its very frustrating as there are no guarantees on the outcome of the consultation process so we will have to keep pushing them .
We will be calling a vote on the bill regardless of the amendment and it will be interesting to see what support the bill gets to progress immediately.
GNÓ COMHALTAÍ PRÍOBHÁIDEACHA
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS
Fógra i dtaobh Leasú ar an Tairiscint don Dara Céim: Notice of Amendment to Second Stage
An Bille Caidrimh Thionscail (Forálacha i leith Teidlíochtaí Pinsin Oibrithe Scortha), 2021 —
An Dara Céim.
Industrial Relations (Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill
2021 — Second Stage.
—Bríd Smith, Gino Kenny, Richard Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy.
Leasú ar an Tairiscint don Dara Léamh:
Amendment to Motion for Second Reading:
- To delete all words after “That” and substitute the following:
“Dáil Éireann acknowledges and resolves that the Industrial Relations (Provisions in Respect of
Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill 2021 be deemed to be read a second time this
day 12 months, 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.” —An tAire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta.
[29 June, 2021]
Leo Varadkar is Tanaiste and The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Leo Varadkar is Tanaiste agus An tAire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta.
UPDATE 28th June, 2021
The link below is to an Irish Times article by Mark Hilliard which was published on 27th June 2021.
Please note that the demonstration in support of the Bill will take place on Tuesday 29th June2021 at Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2 between 12 and 1pm
UPDATE 24th June, 2021
Attention All ESB Pensioners
The Industrial Relations Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers Bill 2021 will be debated at 10am on Wednesday 30th in the Dail,
A vote should take place either that evening or the following Wednesday.
We ask all members to email/write to the TDs in their constituency asking them to support the Bill.
If you have already done so, a big Thank You and please send a reminder before Tuesday 29th June 29th 2021.
If you have yet to contact your TDs please do so now.
We need to make TDs aware that a large number of Semi State retired Workers have no means of accessing the WRC or any other forum to address their issues regarding their pensions.
The message is ………..”Retired Workers are NOT Retired Voters”
A representative group of members of Semi State Retired Workers will stage a socially distanced demonstration at the gates of Dáil Éireann, Kildare St. on 29th. June between 12:00 and 13:00 to raise awareness among TDs of our support for the Bill.
A format letter below could be adapted by members and their families to send to TDs.
I am writing to seek your support for the “Industrial Relations Provisions in respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers Bill 2021”, which is due to come before the Dáil on Wednesday 30th June 2021.
Many retired staff receive their pensions from “Occupational Schemes”, established by their former employers. Central to these schemes are pension funds, to which pensioners (as former workers) and their employers contribute and from which pensions are paid.
However, once they have left their jobs, occupational pensioners find that changes which affect pension benefits can be made with little notice or consultation with them. Decisions which affect pension benefits are sometimes influenced by management/union negotiations, from which pensioners are excluded.
The proposed Bill would give pensioners a greater say in how pension benefits are determined. Crucially, it would allow pensioners recourse to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) for a ruling, a right which workers currently enjoy.
The Bill would help to restore balance between former and existing workers rights, where pension benefits are concerned and introduce a more level playing field in negotiations which affect pensions.
I believe that society as a whole would benefit from having a fairer system of determining pension entitlements and I urge you to support the proposed Bill.
UPDATE 4th June, 2021
Attention All ESB Pensioners
ESB has been a successful and profitable company over the last 10 years and more, with operating profits averaging €533 million per annum in that period. However, during this successful period ESB has consistently discriminated against you as pensioners, denying you a pension increase, pro-rata representation on the governing bodies of ESB Pension Scheme, and have ignored your right to representation in discussions that would affect your future financial security. You have been denied voting rights on issues affecting you as pensioners, and ESB has ignored the fact that pensioners represent 71% of the total Pension Scheme membership.
ESBRSA has been campaigning for Representation & Arbitration rights for retired workers for more than a decade or so, correspondence with successive Governments that has fallen of deaf ears. Governments that 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. ESBRSA would like to commend Brid and her colleagues for the major efforts that they have made in bringing forward legislation in the form of this Bill, (Industrial Relations Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers Bill 2021) which will be debated in the Dail on either 30th June or 6th July.
This Bill needs your support and the support of your local TD’s.
ESBRSA urges all ESB Pensioners to use the document below, send it to your TD’s in your own constituencies asking them for their support for this Bill when Brid Smith brings it before the Dail and to vote in favour of passing this Bill into legislation
Give retired workers a voice; Give them the right to be represented on their pension schemes.
Five reasons you should support the Right to Representation for retired workers.
1. The Bill (Industrial Relations Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers Bill 2021) will be debated in the Dail in early July when it is introduced by Brid Smith of People before Profit. It gives a voice to retired workers over what happens to their occupational pension schemes after they have left their employment. At present, thousands of workers who have worked for decades in a company or a semi state find that once they have left their job, any changes that impact their pension schemes can happen with little notice or consultation with them. This Bill will change that.
2. The Bill will give retired workers and their representative associations the right to go to the WRC when their occupational schemes are affected or there are proposed changes that could affect their benefits. At present, if these changes happen more than six months after a worker has retired they have no rights to access the WRC ; This Bill will change that.
3. The Bill will give rights to retired workers associations to be consulted when talks between trade unions and employers may have direct effects on their occupational pension schemes. At present, retired workers are not consulted in industrial relations disputes that may have an impact on their pensions ; This Bill will change that.
4. This Bill will ensure that one position was reserved for retired pensioner members who were standing for elected positions on trustee boards in some circumstances. Retired workers can often struggle to have their voice heard on their scheme’s Trustee Board; no positions are currently reserved for retired members; This Bill will change that.
5. Retired workers and their associations cannot currently access the WRC, because of the definition of a trade dispute in legislation, this means even where substantial cuts or changes have happened to their pensions, retired workers have no effective forum to seek redress or demand consultation. This Bill will change that.
Retired workers have endured a decade of attacks on their pensions, and all workers are facing further attacks on the very idea of a decent pension when they retire. The right to retire at 66 itself is constantly under pressure from Governments and employers. We believe that pensions are deferred wages, hard won by long struggle of workers and their trade unions in many cases. However, deals between companies and trade unions can result in significant and long-lasting changes to retired workers pension entitlements. Yet, those workers who have often paid into schemes for decades and been active trade union members have no say in those deals and are not even consulted in advance.
This Bill will change that and correct a deep injustice done to all retired workers.
This Retired Workers Rights bill will challenge that and ensure that retired workers and their representative organisations are at the table and recognised when their hard-won pensions are being discussed.
“Nothing about us Without us” is the catch cry of many social movements and so it is with retired workers who are asking that you support their right to be represented and able to defend their pensions after they have retired.
Please lend your support to the Bill
UPDATE 9th May, 2021
With regret we inform you of the death of our former colleague Martin Gibbons of Parknahown, Cullohill, Co Laois. Martin worked in Generation before moving to Portlaoise district as Transmission Engineer. Martin died on 8th May and his funeral is on Monday 10th at 1:00 pm. See RIP.ie for details
UPDATE 15th January, 2021
We have been advised by Bríd Smith TD PBP that she will be introducing a proposed bill entitled Industrial relations amendment (Provisions in Respect Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill 2020 the Dail.
Briefly the bill aims to give greater representative rights for retired workers and their representative organizations when it comes to issues around their occupational pension schemes. It does this by changing certain clauses in the Industrial Relations act to expand the time period in which retired workers can take a case to the WRC for example and by changing the definition of trade dispute, strike and by adding organizations representing retired persons to other clauses in order to expand their rights.
The links below will bring you to pdf files of an explanatory memo and the Bill.