Government agrees to talks on pay restoration

IMPACT’s Shay Cody will lead the union side in talks.

IMPACT has today (Tuesday) welcomed the Government’s decision to agree to early talks on pay issues arising from recent Labour Court recommendations in the garda dispute. The ICTU Public Services Committee has also welcomed the development, saying the discussions will provide a platform for improvements in the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said he expected the discussions to conclude by the end of January 2017.

Although no date has yet been set for the start of talks, unions expect them to begin soon in order to meet the objective of concluding by the end of next January. IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody will lead the union side in the negotiations as he chairs the ICTU Public Services Committee.

In what was dubbed a ‘two-phased approach” to securing the “future of collective pay agreements,” today’s ministerial statement also said the Government expected talks on a successor to the LRA to begin after the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) reports in the second quarter of 2017.

The PSPC’s report is expected to inform the parties to the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA) on how the unwinding of the FEMPI legislation, which introduced pay cuts and the ‘pension levy,’ can be best addressed during negotiations on a successor to the LRA.

Minister Donohoe today confirmed that, once the PSPC report is available, the Government intends to initiate negotiations on a successor to the Lansdowne Road deal ahead of the administration’s deliberations on Budget 2018, which will be announced next October.

The ICTU Public Services Committee has this week made an initial written submission to the PSPC. The PSC officers will be meeting the Commission in the near future.

In recent weeks, IMPACT has been calling for early negotiations to address the fallout from the Labour Court recommendations in the garda dispute, and for clarity about the process and timetable for addressing the need for accelerated pay restoration. The union had told Minister Donohoe and his officials that the Lansdowne Road Agreement would be quickly undermined if this did not happen.