Staff at the Central Remedial Clinic have been told they can move to a public service pension scheme following a dispute over the closure of the private scheme earlier this year.

Last month, staff voted overwhelmingly for industrial action following the sudden closure of the defined benefit scheme.

Because the CRC is classified as a Section 38 body, its employees are deemed to be public servants.

However, the organisation has operated a number of different pension schemes for employees.

The IMPACT trade union said today that while the move is helpful, significant issues remain around clarifying entitlements.

Forty-four current staff were members of the defined benefit scheme which has a deficit of €2m.

In May, the CRC board decided to discontinue making contributions following actuarial advice that the scheme would require significant additional contributions.

Staff will now be able to access the public service pension scheme with accruals backdated to May.

IMPACT spokesperson Ian McDonnell said it was not yet clear whether there would be a gap in accruals between the old and the new scheme and how that might be resolved.

In addition, he said they had to explore whether the public service scheme level of entitlements would fully satisfy members.

The new scheme is also defined benefit but it is not like-for-like.

These issues will be clarified over the next three to four weeks and the union will then return to consider the mandate for industrial action.