IMPACT executive recommends acceptance of public service pay proposals

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IMPACT’s elected Central Executive Committee (CEC) has this afternoon (Tuesday) unanimously recommended that its members accept the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020. The decision was taken following a meeting of the union’s Consultative Council, which comprises elected representatives of all IMPACT’s branches and divisions.

The union will start balloting its members in public service and non-commercial semi-state organisations next week. Its members will have until 12 noon on Friday 14th July to return their ballot papers, and a union-wide result is expected to be announced the following Monday (17th July).

IMPACT’s head of communications Bernard Harbor said: “If accepted, the agreement ensures that pay lost through ‘FEMPI’ legislation would be restored to more than 90% of public servants. The rest would see full pay restoration within a further two years. And it will also mean pay increases for lower paid staff currently earning less than €28,500, who have already exited FEMPI provisions.

“It will also preserve the value of public service pensions, while taking almost a quarter of public servants out of FEMPI pension levy provisions by 2020. As a result, all public servants would receive positive pay and pension levy adjustments, with 73% seeing gains of 7% or more over the lifetime of the agreement. This is in line with the better union-negotiated pay rounds currently being agreed in the private sector.

Mr Harbor said the preservation of protections against outsourcing, which IMPACT had successfully invoked to prevent privatisation of local authority services in the past, was also a highly valuable feature of the proposed agreement, which also provides an avenue to address outstanding issues like pay for ‘new entrants,’ employed since 2010, and recruitment and retention problems.

“IMPACT will use these new mechanisms to address recruitment and retention problems among a range of public service grades including health and social care professionals and various civil service professional grades. And we will use the process for dealing with new entrants’ pay to address inequities being experienced by health professionals, low paid staff like special needs assistants and clerical officers, and many others,” he said.

“IMPACT’s elected Central Executive Committee has recommended acceptance of this agreement on the grounds that it represents an acceleration of pay restoration, preserves the value of public service pensions, and maintains crucial protections against outsourcing. Our executive therefore believes the outcome of the recent talks is the best deal available through negotiations at this time.”

Summary of Public Service Stability Agreement

The full pay and pension levy adjustments set out in the proposed agreement are:

  • 1st January 2018: 1% pay increase
  • 1st October 2018: 1% pay increase
  • 1st January 2019: Pension levy threshold up from €28,750 to €32,000 (worth €325 per year)
  • 1st January 2019: 1% pay increase for those earning less than €30,000
  • 1st September 2019: 1.75% pay increase
  • 1st January 2020: Pension levy threshold increased to €34,500 (worth €250 per year)
  • 1st January 2020: 0.5% pay increase for those earning less than €32,000
  • 1st October 2020: 2% pay adjustment.

The proposed agreement also includes a range of non-pay measures including:

  • The retention of outsourcing protections
  • A facility to revert to pre-Haddington Road working hours (with a commensurate pay adjustment)
  • An end to pension levy payments on non-pensionable earnings, including overtime
  • A process to address longer pay scales for new (post 2010) entrants
  • A process to assess recruitment and retention problems in certain grades and professions
  • Commitments on work-life balance arrangements, and
  • A commitment not to increase CORU, or other professional registration fees, during the lifetime of the agreement.