April date agreed for pay improvement

The €1,000 increase, originally due for payment from 1st September 2017 under the Lansdowne Road agreement (LRA), has been brought forward by five months and will now be paid from 1st April 2017. The payment, which is worth €38.33 a fortnight before tax, is due to all public servants who earn €65,000 a year or less.

The improved arrangement, which was approved by Cabinet today, is the result of negotiations between public service unions and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The union negotiators were led by IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody, who chairs the ICTU Public Services Committee.

IMPACT and other unions insisted on early negotiations to accelerate public service pay restoration last November, after the Government accepted Labour Court recommendations that gave Gardai better terms than those set out in the LRA. The agreement finalised this week doesn’t fully deal with this anomaly, but it allows for talks on a successor to the LRA – likely to take place in the late spring – to continue to address the issue.

The April payment will go to public servants on annualised salaries up to €65,000 who are in unions signed up to the LRA. It will not go to members of the two Garda associations, who benefited from last November’s Labour Court recommendations.

Public servants who earn more than €65,000 a year won’t benefit either, as the Garda settlement didn’t apply to guards with salaries of over €65,000. However, most public servants who earn above €65,000 will see the beginning of restoration of the ‘third’ pay reduction – which applied exclusively to those earning over €65,000 under the 2013 Haddington Road agreement – from April.

IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said attention would now turn to talks on a successor to the LRA. These negotiations, also brought forward on the insistence of IMPACT and other unions, will begin immediately after the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) makes its initial report in April.

“We have addressed the issues arising from the Garda pay settlements and will continue to pursue this in the next set of negotiations, on a successor to the LRA, which is expected to begin in May. The main business of these talks will be to establish a pay round and address the timetable for unwinding the ‘FEMPI’ legislation, which introduced the 2009-2010 pay cuts and pension levy. IMPACT will push for the fastest possible pay recovery in the context of public finances and other calls on the public purse, like investment in infrastructure and public services” he said.

The ICTU Public Services Committee (PSC), which represents the vast majority of the country’s public service unions, has already made a submission to the Public Service Pay Commission. The PSC officers have also met with the Commission. Further submissions are in preparation and additional meetings are expected to be scheduled.

Former IMPACT general secretary Peter McLoone is a member of the Commission.

Read the statement on the settlement HERE.

Your questions answered HERE.