Lobbying of local TDs by RMA members for pension restoration and the repeal of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act continues to be
very important, as it greatly assists the work being done by officers of the Alliance in their meetings with the political parties.
There was a meeting of Alliance representatives with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform officials on 19th December arising out of an Alliance letter to the Minister.
The Alliance representatives outlined their concerns in relation to early restoration of pensions and related matters and also sought official clarification in respect of the position of the Pay Commission vis a vis public service pensions.
The DPER officials indicated:
That DPER would be meeting with public service union representatives after the Pay Commission reports in the second quarter of 2017 in relation to pay matters and the winding down of FEMPI;
That the Pay Commission advisory report would be dealing with the winding down of FEMPI only in relation to pay and not in relation to pensions:
that, as indicated by the Minister, the winding down of FEMPI in relation to pensions and related matters of concern to the Alliance would be discussed with the Alliance at the same time as discussions would be held with the public service unions in 2017:
That the Alliance would have the opportunity in those discussions to outline its considered views on the matters arising; and
That the Minister recognised the case for priority to be given to the restoration of pensions in the winding down of the FEMPI legislation.
In the last issue, I referred briefly to our Autumn Break in The Sligo Park Hotel. I could not deal with it any detail as the deadline for that magazine coincided with the final day of that break. So let me say again that it was extremely successful. The Hotel could not have been better, with wonderful food, comfortable accommodation and helpful staff. We had fantastic guided tours and I would like to compliment Furey’s Bus Hire Sligo on their excellent service to us during our visit to Sligo, thanks Paul.
At our dinner on the Thursday night, Jim McCarthy RMA Chairperson made a presentation to our former Secretary Christy Conville as a thank you for his contribution to the Retired Members Association over a number of years
So you’ll come on the next one? Well the Spring break will be in Wexford – Clayton Whites Hotel. It is accessible by train or bus and the break is scheduled for March 27th to 30th 2017 Form can. The Booking be downloaded from www.rmatui.ie and returned directly to the hotel. You can also book by phone. Ours tours may include on Tuesday 28th: Dunbrody Famine Ship; the Kennedy Homestead and/or Arboretum; lunch in Kilmore Quay and an afternoon visit to Johnstown Castle (Teagasc Research Centre). On Wednesday 29th we will visit FerrycarrigFolkPark in the morning with the afternoon free to explore Wexford towns / shops, check the website for full details.
The RMA continues to grow. The number of branches is increasing (two are in the process of being formed – Wicklow and Cavan / Monaghan). Many branches held a social event or lunch for Christmas. I attended one in Kildare as well as my own branch in Meath and both were a great success.
Finally colleagues, on behalf of the Management Committee, may I wish you a 2017 full of ‘positives’ and good health. I look forward to seeing more of you participating in our Spring and Autumn breaks and attending our AGM.
Dan Keane, RMA Secretary.