Friday, 20 January 2012

Minister Burton Gives Commitment on CE funding

PRESS RELEASE (Issued 18th January 2011)

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, has given a commitment that no Community Employment (CE) schemes will be forced to close due to funding cutbacks until a full financial review of the sector has been completed.

The commitment was given to a high level ICTU delegation during a meeting with the Minister and Department of Social Protection officials in the Dáil on Tuesday (17th January).

The Congress delegation was led by ICTU General Secretary, David Begg, and included SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, and IMPACT national secretary Matt Staunton.

ICTU Community Sector Committee chairman, David Connolly, Chairman of the SIPTU CE Supervisors Union Committee, Seamus Briscoe, and SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins also attended the afternoon meeting.

Eddie Mullins said; “The Minister said that her officials would undertake an immediate financial review of each CE project, meeting directly with local organisations and discussing any immediate funding difficulties that arise during the first quarter of 2012.

“It is essential that local projects make contact with the relevant government officials to ensure they become involved in this process. Project managers should also bring any funding difficulties to the immediate attention of their trade union representatives. On the issue of a general review of the viability of all CE projects the Minister accepted that trade union input is essential. In light of this the Department of Social Protection will forward on the draft terms of reference of the wider CE review to ICTU in the coming days.”

David Connolly said; “The meeting followed a campaign by trade unionists to highlight the severe adverse impact communities will suffer if the proposed cut-backs to the funding of CE schemes in the recent budget are not reversed.”

“At the meeting the Minister directly heard the concerns that have arisen among CE scheme participants and managers due to the proposed cutbacks. She agreed on immediate actions aimed at introducing stability and calm to the sector.”

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