Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien TD, have announced a pay increase of five per cent for supervisors and team leaders of Employment Support Schemes.

The pay deal will benefit over 1,600 employees of organisations that manage Community Employment (CE), Tús, Rural Social Scheme (RSS) and Job Initiative. These employees will see a pay increase of 3% from 1st April 2023, which will be backdated, and a further 2% from 1 November 2023.

Minister Humphreys briefed her Cabinet colleagues of the details of the agreement this morning.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, Minister Humphreys said:

As Minister for both Social Protection and Rural and Community Development, I absolutely recognise the vital role that these schemes play in local communities right across the country.

They support a range of vital local services in areas such as childcare, meals on wheels and the maintenance and upkeep of local amenities.

I wish to acknowledge the valuable and dedicated service that these supervisors and team leaders provide in running these schemes all over the country. We simply could not sustain a lot of our local community services without their work.

I am aware of the issues raised by these employees through the regular engagement I have had with them in recent years, and I am pleased to announce the approval of funding for these increases today.

Minister for State, Joe O’Brien T.D added:

I am very pleased that we can announce this great news today. Over 1,600 employees working to provide services to local communities will benefit from these increases.

The total pay increase of 5% is a significant improvement for these vital workers and will be paid over the coming weeks along with arrears backdated to 1st April.

Community Employment (CE) and Tús are active labour market programmes designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged people with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.

The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) is an income support scheme that provides part-time employment opportunities for farmers and fishermen and women in receipt of specified social welfare payments, and who are underemployed in their primary occupation.

RSS is specifically designed and delivered to certain qualified people of working age whose income falls below certain limits. The valuable work undertaken by participants draws on their existing skills which may be further developed and shared throughout their participation.

Job Initiative (JI) is an employment support scheme which was designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities. Recruitment to JI ceased in 2004.

The types of work CE, Tús, RSS and JI participants are involved in include local amenities management, environmental projects, arts and culture, sports, childcare, Tidy Towns, health-related services, meals on wheels and drug rehabilitation schemes.

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