RMA News – TUI News April 2013 by Christy Conville
Well a lot has happened since I last wrote. The Croke Park 2 proposals have been rejected by the Unions and the situation regarding our Pension Reduction is no clearer now than it was before but there are developments. The rejection of the Proposals was not expected, the TUI were the first to reject them followed by several small unions but it was not expected that the INTO or SIPTU would reject them. What does this mean for us, well the margin of rejection means that the Government will be more careful in their future moves. As you know and we have been constantly reminded that the unions had no hand act or part in the decision to reduce our pension, it was no part of the Croke Park 2 proposals it was a Government decision and would be brought to the Dail for decision. We are not happy with this position, our pension is being reduced and we have no involvement whatsoever. Over the last few days you have heard Government Ministers speaking about detailed discussion about fairness and that anyone under €65,000.00 would not be affected, no mention was ever made about the over 60,000 retired public servants who were not consulted, not involved and whose income over €32,500.00 would have a reduction and a widow/widower of a retired Public Servant would have a reduction from an income of €16,250.00.
As you know we have formed an Alliance of retired Public Service unions to address these issues. We wrote to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform seeking a voice in the discussions on the Croke Park 2, it was refused on the basis that we are neither an employee nor an employer. We then wrote seeking a meeting with him to discuss the position to this we got no reply. On the 26th March we issued a statement to the media outlining our correspondence with the Minister and explaining how it was unfair and unjust that we should be part of the solution without being part of the process. We also sent the statement and other correspondence to the four main Political Party leaders. The statement got coverage in all the main papers and Sean O’Riordain, Alliance spokesperson, was interviewed on radio. We received three acknowledgements from the Party Leaders but not from Fianna Fail, however on Thursday 18th April Willie O’Dea, TD, FF asked a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD “if he has had discussions with representatives of retired public sector workers concerning the impact on them of the Croke Park 2 agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter”? The Minister explained all that is above but he also said that “my officials intend to meet with the Alliance of Retired Public Servants in the coming weeks”. So watch this space.
The development of the Branches is going from strength to strength. One of the great advantages of local Branches is that they can tailor events to suit themselves and no better than the local Kildare Branch who paid a visit to the Dail and the National Gallery recently and who have planned a visit to the Botanic Gardens and Glasnevin Cemetery in May and the Limerick Branch who had presentation on the Property Tax at its recent meeting. Branches being formed at the moment are the Carlow Branch and a midlands Branch that will involve the four counties of Offaly, Westmeath, Longford and Roscommon and who meet in Athlone.
We had a wonderful break in Kilkenny recently over forty of our members met in the Newpark Hotel Kilkenny for a three day break. We went to Bennetsbridge the home of Nicholas Mosse pottery where we had a good browse and a beautiful coffee. From there we went to Goatsbridge Trout Farm where we had a wonderful guided tour of the farm plus a very personal and passionate history lesson of the farm from Ger Kirwan the owner including the fact that his mother was a Home Economics teacher. Several members purchased trout there and Ger delivered it to the hotel on the morning of our departure. After that we went to Mount Juliet where we had gourmet soup and sandwiches, I say that because that is what they called it and the price to match however they were delicious and everybody was impressed. Then we had a demonstration of glass blowing at Jerpoint Glass Studio.
The next day we concentrated on the City starting at St Canice’s Cathedral where we had a very good personal guide on the history of the cathedral from there we made our way to the Castle where we had another very interesting guide of its history and events. Then to lunch in the Design Centre and then to Rothe House which had been on the news just the night before our visit. The hotel was excellent and looked after us so well the Newpark is a sister hotel of the Old Ground in Ennis where we were last October and also of the Park Hotel in Dungarvan where we are going for the AGM in May.
As I mentioned we are going to the Park Hotel in Dungarvan for our AGM arriving evening Tuesday 28th May the AGM is on the Wednesday morning 29th May with Gala Dinner that night and also an optional extra night on the 30th May. All the details are being posted to you and you may have received them before you read this, I think you will agree that it is a great offer from the hotel.
For more exotic tours Paddy Byrne is awaiting your call at 087-6781242