An Alliance of public service retired groups has been set up in the last 18 months in an attempt to oppose the proposed cuts to pensions. Included in the Alliance are representatives of retired teachers, Gardaí, nurses, doctors, prison officers, Fire Service personnel, psychiatric nurses and other civil and public servants. The alliance currently represents 38,000 public sector pensioners. The RMA Secretary, Christy Conville, is the Secretary of the Alliance.
The group sought a meeting with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to discuss the impact any cuts would have on retired persons. After some initial delay, officials of the minister's department met with representatives of the Alliance in May and the minister himself - Brendan Howlin - met with us some days later.
The minister has agreed that there is a need for some representation for retired public servants and the Alliance is currently working on a formalised structure for ongoing engagement on pension matters. This is a major achievement for the Alliance.
The minister also stated that “It is my intention as a matter of priority to move towards reducing the burden of the public service pension reduction, with the initial focus on the people in receipt of low pensions, at the earliest date economic progress permits.”