CPSU views earlier LRA payment as an installment of full pay and conditions restoration

Media Release

CPSU views earlier LRA payment as an installment of full pay and conditions restoration

 The Public Services Committee meeting today noted details of what is in effect an interim step towards the roll back of FEMPI. The meeting of the 19 or so Public Services Unions affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trades Union issued the attached statement recognising the value of the move by Government to address the anomaly created by the Labour Court Recommendation in the Garda Disputes last December but added that there are outstanding issues which will now form part of the earlier than expected negotiations on a follow on deal to the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA).

The CPSU had called prior to Budget 2017 for the last phase of the LRA due in September of this year to be brought forward. Commenting on the DPER decision CPSU General Secretary Eoin Ronayne said that while the bringing forward of the annualised payment of €1,000 was welcome “ it clearly is not enough to meet the just demands of public servants especially those below €50,000 a year”. He said the CPSU would expect the next set of talks, now likely to take place earlier than planned, in May, to reverse in full the pay cuts for those earners while rolling back the additional unpaid hours and new entry lower points for CO entrants. He added “This is a small break for our hard pressed lower income earners but it is just that – it falls far short of the better treatment of some other grades and all eyes will now be on what is delivered in talks on a follow on agreement to the LRA” He confirmed the CPSU would consult with other public service unions in advance of any new talks process to seek to build a consensus aimed at delivering full restoration prioritising lower income grades in the public service.

The CPSU’s Pay & Conditions sub-committee of its Executive is currently working how best to ensure that fresh Public Service Pay Talks take those below €50,000 out of the FEMPI net while rolling back the additional hours imposed as part of the austerity cuts and the two low entry points added to the Clerical Officer Pay Scales (these lower points leave new recruits working for €400 a week despite many having third level qualifications while paying exorbitant rents in Dublin and elsewhere). The union’s Annual Conference in early April will be dominated by discussion on member expectations for any new Agreement.

Statements from the ICTU PSC and DPER attached.

For further information and comment contact: Eoin Ronayne on 0872520603


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Joint statement by Government and Public Service Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on the implementation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

A process of engagement has taken place between the Government in its capacity as the public service employer and the Public Service Committee of ICTU under the framework provided by Section 6 of the Lansdowne Road Agreement to address an anomaly issue arising in the context of Labour Court Recommendations (CD/16/321& CD/16/322) in respect of the Garda Associations.

In acknowledgement of this anomaly that has arisen, the Government has agreed to an increase in annualised salaries of €1,000 for the period 1 April 2017 to August 2017 inclusive for:

  • those on annualised salaries up to €65,000;
  • who are parties to the Lansdowne Road Agreement; and
  • who do not stand to benefit from the Labour Court Recommendations (CD/16/321 & CD/16/322).

This additional payment is being offered by Government on the understanding that there will be continued adherence to the terms of the LRA, and in particular, its mechanisms to resolve disagreements before they escalate into industrial disputes over the remaining period of the Agreement. The requirement therefore to adhere to industrial peace will be fully observed in all sectors.

The Oversight Group for the Agreement will meet regularly in order to take an active role in addressing any major disputes that arise ensuring compliance with the relevant terms of the agreement over its remaining term.

The Public Services Committee of ICTU recognises the value of this payment but has advised the management side that outstanding issues will be pursued in the further talks to take place following the initial report of the Public Service Pay Commission.

ENDS


Statement by Minister Donohoe on implementation of Lansdowne Road Agreement

Following Labour Court Recommendations (CD/16/321& CD/16/322) in respect of the Garda Associations, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D, announced a two-phased approach to securing the future of collective pay agreements: Phase 1 to address anomalies arising from the recommendations; and Phase 2 to negotiate a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Government priorities for the Phase 1 negotiations were to:

  1. secure the continued implementation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement;
  2. maintain the productivity, industrial peace and stability provided by the Agreement, which are of critical importance to the country and its international reputation; and
  3. ensure that issues of mutual concern to the parties are addressed in a fair and reasonable way but, above all, in a manner that safeguards existing government expenditure commitments and the broader fiscal position.

Under the first phase, parties to the Lansdowne Agreement were invited to discussions under Section 6 (oversight and governance arrangements) of the Agreement. These discussions were to address anomalies arising from the Labour Court recommendations on Garda Síochána.

Commenting on these discussions, the Minister said: ‘This Government believes in the value of collective agreements and is taking steps to support the continued implementation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement’.

“A collective approach to public service pay is vital to our national interest as it provides for the stable industrial relations environment which has been a pillar of our domestic recovery and restored international reputation. Collective agreements deliver public service reform, secure productivity improvements and allow for strong fiscal planning – where pay increases are negotiated fairly and budgeted for on a multi-annual basis. This allows us to balance pay increases in the public service with other societal priorities including improvements in housing and health care.

“The Labour Court Recommendation on Garda pay issued on 3rd of November last had serious implications for the continued viability of the Lansdowne Road Agreement and this needed to be addressed.”

This process of engagement between public service management and the Public Service Committee of ICTU has now been completed.

In acknowledgement of the anomaly that has arisen, the Government in its capacity as the public service employer, has agreed to an increase in annualised salaries of €1,000 for the period April to August 2017 inclusive for:

  • those on annualised salaries up to €65,000;
  • who are parties to the Lansdowne Road Agreement; and
  • who do not stand to benefit from the Labour Court recommendations (CD/16/321 & CD/16/322) issued in respect of the Garda Associations.

These increases are estimated to cost approximately €120m and will be met from available public resources, taking into account the scope for reallocation of expenditure, while also ensuring that core public services are not adversely impacted as a result of this decision.

Preparatory work for Phase 2 has commenced, with parties making submissions to the Public Service Pay Commission. An initial report from the Commission is expected in Q2 2017. This report will provide inputs on how the unwinding of FEMPI legislation can be best managed in the context of the national finances.

Once this report is available, the Government intends to initiate negotiations on a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement ahead of Budget 2018 considerations.

ENDS