TO: EACH BRANCH SECRETARY –
ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS
DATE: 9th May 2017
RE: Public Service Pay Commission Report
Please see the attached copy of the Report of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) published at lunchtime following consideration by Government at this morning’s Cabinet meeting. I have also attached the Media Release issued by the ICTU Public Services Committee and a brief Summary of the Report.
Our Executive Committee’s Pay & Conditions Sub-Committee will meet this Thursday to consider and discuss the implications of the Report for our negotiating position in the forthcoming Public Service Pay & Conditions negotiations on a follow on to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. It is important to understand that the Report just published is unlike the Benchmarking Reports of previous years. It is not binding on the parties rather it is an advisory document for the use of the employer side as it prepares for these talks.
In that regard it is important to also note that the Commission was not charged with replicating an in-depth study of specific Public Service grades with Private Sector comparators. It is a study of average pay movements since 2007 inclusive of the impact on public pay rates of FEMPI and the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA). It does not provide, for instance, a comparison of Clerical Officer pay with private sector or international comparators. The report works with averages based on already published data which does not provide the detailed and specific data required to enable any detailed analysis of pay relativities or movements grade by grade in the Public Service.
Because of the methodology applied the report says average public sector pay lags behind the private sector at the top end while at lower levels it appears to outpace the private sector. However the report also shows that even after the LRA public sector pay will still be 6.5% lower in 2018 than in 2008. It also shows that pay awards in the private sector in recent years have averaged between 1.5% and 2.5% a year.
Of particular concern will be its findings on Public Service pensions and the suggestion that the Pension Levy might be converted in part into an additional employee contribution. Already public servants above €28,750 pay over 20% of pay towards pension provision. The benefit to the Clerical Officer grade is minimal – after 40 years full service (not that many COs will have full service) an annual pension of about €5,000 will be the premium above the normal Social Welfare pension which post 1995 COs will have paid for. Not gilt edged by any means.
Interestingly the Report shows, however, that workers organised by trade unions benefit from a 6% salary premium over those not represented by unions.
The Report, while recording the positions of various parties making submissions to the Commission on Unpaid Hours and Overtime Rates (e.g. The ICTU Public Services Committee and CPSU), does not address them noting that neither were introduced by FEMPI but resulted from the Haddington Road Agreement. The Commission says it’s up to the parties in the forthcoming talks to handle these matters as they see fit.
In conclusion it is important for members to understand that while Government may base its negotiating position on elements of this Report we do not accept that the Report should in any way pre-determine the outcome of negotiations between the Public Services Committee and the employer.
We will progress our agreed agenda relating to the full restoration of the pay and pension levy for our grades, the removal of the lower entry points on the CO scale, the roll back of the unpaid hours and the protection of our current pension benefits.
Download Report Summary HERE
Download Full Report HERE
Download Media Release HERE