RMA News February 2022
As I write this article in mid February I am looking forward to joining up with RMA colleagues and friends in Treacy’s West County Hotel Ennis Co Clare for our spring break on March 29th, 30th and 31st. There are minor changes to the schedule of tours due to issues outside our control, resulting in the tours being swapped around. I will give a full report on this break in our next issue.
We have started initial planning for our Autumn break which will take place in October next (probably Oct 18th, 19th 20th), but nothing has been finalised as of yet. Details will be up on our website www.rmatui.ie when we have a venue and will be sent out to all members in late August or early September with our renewal letters.
The Annual General Meeting of the Retired Members Association will take place on May 18th in the Harbour Hotel Galway. Accommodation costs are €139 per room for single occupancy and €149 for double occupancy. The AGM Gala dinner will be held in the hotel on that evening costing €30. Further details on the AGM will be up on the website www.rmatui.ie shortly and all RMA branches will be contacted.
Alliance of Retired Public Servants
Current issues being discussed by the Alliance are as follows;
Preservation of Parity in the next round of Pay Talks.
The onus is on all Public Service Unions to support the retention of Parity and to block the inclusion of any clauses in the next pay deal which would effectively usurp Parity. It is patently in the interests of their members for the future as well as in the interests of current retirees.
The Industrial Relations (..Pension Entitlements..) Bill 2021.
A meeting took place on December 1st with Damien English T.D. in his capacity as Junior Minister in the Dept of Enterprise. He has been given the task of handling the passage of the Government’ s amendment – allowing for consultation. That meeting went well and another is planned for about now. The Alliance has reservations about certain aspects of the process, and is anxious to work with the ICTU Public Services Committee to ensure that the ICTU understands what our essential demands are with regard to the legislation.
Recommendations from the Pensions Commission included one that sought to have Retired workers continue to pay 4% PRSI. The Ministers for Finance, Public Expenditure and Social Protection have been written to, explaining the injustice of such a measure and the duplication of the USC anomaly contained in the proposal. It must be said that the likelihood of the measure being introduced is low given that we have not been compensated for the 5.7% rate of inflation over 2021.
Covid 19 and the Elderly.
Concerns have been raised about the dearth of information either available or being released about the affects of ‘Long Covid’ on the older generation. Covid is effectively a notifiable disease for which all treatment should be free. The failure by Government to approve medical cards for all over 70 or on pension is an issue of serious concern as a result, and likewise the failure to abolish completely the Drugs Payment limit for the same cohort. The Alliance is not aware of any dedicated services for helping retirees/pensioners cope with mental health issues arising from the Covid -19 lock-downs and the isolation and depression which accompanied it. There is also serious concern about the ability of the Health Service to deal with the back-log of other health issues deferred and left untreated during the pandemic.
The Alliance Biennial General Meeting will take place towards the end of May 2022.
TUI Annual Congress
The TUI Annual Congress at Easter is in Wexford this year and there are a number of motions of interest in the Preliminary Agenda which is with TUI branches at present for prioritisation of motions and the submission of amendments, hopefully the motions of interest to the RMA receive high enough priority to enable them to be put to Congress and debated.
Dan Keane, RMA Secretary.