Establishment of Public Service Pay Commission welcomed

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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe.

The Public Services Committee (PSC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has welcomed the announcement that Cabinet has agreed to the establishment of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC), chaired by former Chair of the Labour Court, Kevin Duffy.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the PSC said it believes that the Commission can play an important role in helping to bring stability to public service pay determination “as we move to replace the FEMPI legislation.”

The statement added “Achieving this would be to the benefit of workers, government and the taxpayers who ultimately foot the public service pay bill.”

Budget confirms pay improvements

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe confirmed, during last week’s Budget speech, that PSPC will start work shortly and report to him no later than the middle of 2017.

Minister Donohoe said the PSPC would address the process of unwinding the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest legislation, which introduced the pay cuts and pension levy.

“The work of the Commission will facilitate my engagement with public sector unions and other stakeholders on the successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. In that way we can continue to provide a sustainable and quality public services that are affordable for all,” he said.

The Government made a budget allocation of €290 billion last week to meet its commitments to continue pay restoration in 2017, as agreed in the Lansdowne Road and Haddington Road agreements.

Minister Donohoe also repeated the Government’s oft-stated position that public service pay agreements are the sole vehicle it will use to restore public service pay cuts introduced in 2009, 2010 and – for some – under the Haddington Road agreement.

Under Lansdowne Road, public servants who earn less than €65,000 a year are in line for a €1,000 pay increase in September 2017. All public servants will see the full year value of the €1000 reduction in the pension levy effective from January 2017. Next year also sees the first of two phases of restoration of the temporary pay reductions, under the previous Haddington Road deal. These pay cuts only applied to staff earning over €65,000.

See also: Pay and incomes on the IMPACT website.