009/17 News Update: Public Sector Talks

To: Each Branch Secretary
Date: 7th June 2017
News Update: 009/17
Re: National Talks Update – Public Sector Talks 

 

Colleagues,

Please circulate to all members

The Public Sector Talks are due to resume today (Wednesday 7th June) at 14.30 at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). They adjourned last night shortly after 23.00 hrs with a considerable gap remaining between the parties.

Although a paper on Pay issues was presented by DPER in the morning yesterday it was very similar to that outlined to the unions at the start of the process over two weeks ago. What was made very clear again was that very limited money is considered to be available by Government for pay issues in 2018 and that any that is will be targeted at the lower to middle income threshold most likely through a potential adjustment to the pension levy. Hence the media speculation that any significant pay improvements will be what’s called ‘backed ended’ to the years 2019 and 2020. The DPER presentation suggested all but the highest earners could be removed from FEMPI within a three year deal if agreed. Citing the Pay Commission Report commentary on the so-called Public Service Pension premium DPER also indicated that they would seek to convert a portion of the Levy into a new additional pension contribution but no details were given on how or at what levels this might apply.

The remainder of the day was spent working in sectoral groups looking at specific issues affecting groups of workers and their unions across the Public Sector.

No follow-on paper on pay, pensions or hours was forthcoming from the employers last night and consequently the talks adjourned. It is anticipated that the talks will continue until agreement is reached or not tonight.

It is fair to say at this point that there are significant differences between the parties on major issues such as pay, pensions, hours, new entrants and outsourcing. A number of CPSU specific issues such as HCO uplifts, EO recruitment posts linked to the SO/EO Integration Agreement, Annual Leave issues etc. remain in active discussion as the talks move towards crunch time. As matters develop through the evening and night we will endeavour to keep you updated using the website and Facebook/Twitter.

Eoin Ronayne
General Secretary