Sunday 25 September 2016

Lansdowne Road Agreement: public servants to receive income boosts of €2,000 in new pay deal

Published 29/05/2015 | 17:27

29/5/15 Minister Brian Howlin briefing the press on the Lansdowne Road agreement on public sector pay talks at Lansdowne House in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
29/5/15 Minister Brian Howlin briefing the press on the Lansdowne Road agreement on public sector pay talks at Lansdowne House in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

The Government is to splurge over a half a billion euro on public sector pay increases over the next three years in a move that will see most workers receive income boosts of €2,000 each.

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The ‘Lansdowne Road Agreement’ will kick off the phasing out of the deeply unpopular pension levy, as well as introducing modest pay hikes for low income workers.

But the deal, agreed after three weeks of negotiations, has been criticised by business groups for lack any tangible productivity measures.

The pay restoration side of the agreement will be delivered over three phases and is predominantly targeted at low-middle income earners.

In January, the pension levy thresholds will be lifted from €15,000-€24,750 in a move that will benefit all workers within the public service.

And public servants earning below €31,000 will receive pay increases of 1-2.5pc with the lowest paid set to benefit most.

A second wave of pension levy reductions will be introduced in September 2016, this time bringing the threshold up to just below €30,000.

“The combination of these measures in 2016 will improve all public service full time incomes by around €1,000 per annum,” said the Impact Trade Union.

The third phase will see workers on salaries of up to €65,000 receive a pay rise of €1,000.

In terms of the higher paid workers, the pay deal sets in stone a previous clause in the Haddington Road Agreement to partially restore pay.

The pay deal was cautiously welcomed by most union leaders but Impact went further and described the package as achieving the “essential objective of fairness”.

However, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), which represents doctors, said the deal does nothing to address unsafe conditions and reduced resources in hospitals. 

Government sources argued that deal ensures the extension of hours agreed in Haddington Road remain in place, and that there is also an agreement surrounding binding resolution in relation to disputes.

Minister Brendan Howlin said the deal “reinforces the ongoing commitment of public servants to the wider reform agenda in the public service”. But IBEC said it is concerned about overly-restrictive rules around out-sourcing.

“It sends out a negative signal in terms of the Government’s attitude to the role of the private sector in delivering services. It’s quite protectionist actually.”Head of Policy and Chief Economist Fergal O’Brien told Independent.ie.

The deal must now be ratified by union members.

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