RMA News September 2013            by              Christy Conville

Well that was a great summer was it not? It was the best in the last five years, but you know when you are retired it’s not the end of anything nor the beginning it’s all continuous. However there is one change I’m sure you noticed and that was the deduction in your pension. This is the second time we have had a deduction in our pension by way of Emergency Powers. You may ask what are we doing about it well a lot has happened since I last wrote to you.

You know that we have formed an Alliance with all the retired Public Service Associations and that we have met frequently to consider how we might have an influence as to how our pension might be protected. You also know that there is little or no sympathy for retired Public Servants, we are considered as the Golden Pension brigade, you can hear that daily on the radio or television and you can read all about it in the papers. The fact is that we have no voice or means to protect or defend our position. The Unions are prevented from acting on our behalf by the 1990 Employment Act.The situation we are in is completely new, now that we are aware that our union cannot protect us against cuts in our pensions.  By the work that the Alliance has been doing it has become clear to many people that this situation is unjust and untenable. So after much correspondence and a Dail Parliamentary Question on the 24th May we met with the Ministers Officials to discuss this situation and on Monday 27th May we met with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD for several hours to discuss a solution. Details of all this is on our website including the Ministers statement following our meeting. The upshot of all this is that the Minister has agreed to recognise the Alliance as a spokesperson for the Retired Public Servants. This may not remove the pain but at least we will have an opportunity to have our case heard. We now have a voice.

Following on that meeting we met with the Public Services Committee (PSC) at the invitation of Shay Cody who is Chairman of the committee and General Secretary of IMPACT. The PSC is the subcommittee of Congress which deals with the Public Service. It was an explanatory meeting and we intend to liaise more with it in the future.

We had a great AGM in the Park Hotel, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, in May. The AGM was very efficiently run under the Chairmanship of Jim McCarthy and the Standing Orders committee. A lot of items were covered especially the pension position and of course the meeting was brought up to date with all the developments and the role of the Alliance. We had many guests representing other Teachers groups and the Alliance. On the social side we had a visit to Lismore a beautiful village and of course the Castle garden and the Heritage Centre. It was a magnificent day and the countryside was at its best as was the Castle garden.

The formation of new branches continues, the latest one being Mayo, see our website for details of upcoming meetings.

By popular demand we are returning to Kelly’s Resort Hotel for our autumn break. We first visited Kelly’s in October 2011 and we have been requested to return ever since. The great news is that we have got the same rates as we had for 2011. Three nights dinner bed and breakfast for €345.00 and of course all the amenities including swimming pool, garden course given by Helen Dillon and Betty Kehoe plus the morning coffee and afternoon tea. The dates are 15th 16th and 17th October 2013. All the details and booking form are available on the TUI website.

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