Deputy Patrick Costello wrote to the Minister of Justice regarding the issue of community prison link workers being included as part of the section 39 pay restoration process.
Dear Minister McEntee,
I am writing to you today regarding Community Prison Link Workers (CPL) and the public pay restoration process for section 39 workers. The assessment process which will, where appropriate, provide additional funding and has an upcoming deadline of 28th February for submissions.
One group set to benefit from this process in my constituency is the Rialto Community Drug Team. Within this body the staff, with one exception, are funded by the Department of Health and as such are set to see pay increases. The only staff member separate to this is the CPL worker who is funded by the Department of Justice which transfer funding to the Department of Health for this worker.
From my correspondence with officials within your department I understand that this is one of six such prison link/addiction projects facilitated through the transfer of funding from your Department to the Department of Health. The funding is provided specifically by the Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces except for one CPL worker, which is funded by the Probation Service through the Fusion project.
This unique arrangement has resulted in a two-tiered pay system existing on such sites whereby some workers are excluded from the pay restoration process. I understand that numerous conversations and correspondence has been passed between your Department and the Department of Health under your Ministerial predecessors regarding the ultimate transferring of employment directly to the Department of Health.
I am therefore requesting that you expediate this process to ensure that CPL workers are not discriminated and excluded from the pay restoration process. Alternatively, as a potential stopgap if the deadline is too immediate, I would request that your department increase the funding of the CPL workers proportionally to that increase received by workers under the section 39 process.
Is mise le meas,
Patrick Costello TD – Dublin South-Central