Wednesday 25 April 2018

Government publishes €1bn pay deal as public service anger grows

Dublin Fire Brigade members of the IFESA Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association - protest against the new public sector pay deal outside Leinster House
Dublin Fire Brigade members of the IFESA Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association - protest against the new public sector pay deal outside Leinster House

Ed Carty and Lyndsey Telford

The Government has published the fine print of the one billion euro pay deal to run between July 1 and 2016.

After unions revealed some of the major working reforms and wage cuts yesterday, the Labour Relations Commission warned workers would have faced unilateral reductions if negotiations had failed.


Here is some of the finer detail from the 28 page document.


:: Those currently on a working week of 35 hours or less will in future work at least 37 hours, allowing possible lunchtime opening of government services.


:: Those working between 35 and under 39 hours will have to put in at least 39 hours, with additional hours helping to cut public sector numbers.


:: Anyone already on a 39 hour week or more will do one hour's unpaid overtime every week.


:: Teachers, national and secondary, will see supervision and substitution payments eliminated. They will cover for absent colleagues for the first day of leave for certified sick time; death in a family; force majeure; and family illness. Teachers will have to provide cover for two hours 15 minutes a week.


:: Third level academic staff will work an additional 78 hours a year to cut out payment for marking exams.


:: Reduced overtime rates, down to time and half for those on less than €35,000; time and a quarter for those earning more than €35,000.


:: So-called Twilight payments - for work between 6pm and 8pm - will be abolished.


:: A reduced Sunday rate of pay, down from double-time to time-and-three-quarters. Staff who are still obliged to work Sundays and who lose out as a result of the reduced rate will be receive a once-off compensation payment - paid in two instalments on January 1 and July 1 2015. The compensation would be calculated based on the worker's previous earnings.


:: The agreement also commits management to reduce the overall numbers of staff rostered for duty on Sundays.


:: Prison servicer to make €12 million savings in a range of proposals including an end to so-called "acting-up" allowances; more video links to court; introduction of electronic warrants; closure of prison main gates after certain times; reducing officers doing "additional hours"; less spent on agency and locum healthcare staff;


:: A three-year freeze on annual pay rises for those earning more than €65,000.


:: Public sector workers with salaries between €35,000  and €65,000 will get two 15-monthly rather than annual pay rises over the period of the agreement.


:: Those on less then €35,000 will have a three-month postponement on their first due pay rise, before returning to annual increments as normal.


:: Those at the top of their pay scales and earning €35-65,000  will have to give up six days annual leave over the next three years or offer an equivalent cash deduction from their salary to the value of the annual leave.


:: There is a commitment that pay cuts will not bring salaries below €65,000.


:: High-earners will have their salaries and allowances cut 5.5% for those between €65,000 and €80,000; with an extra 8% off earnings between €80,000 and €150,000; another 9% off pay between €150,000 and €185,000; and 10% shaved off any earnings above €185,000.


:: The cuts would mean someone on €100,000 salary and allowances would be down €6,000 to €94,000; someone on €160,000 would have their earnings cut to €149,100; while a top public servant on €200,000 would see their pay cut to €185,350


:: The pay cut rates will be applied to anyone with a pension over €32,500.


:: The pension cuts will be aligned with the pay cuts imposed on existing workers. So, where a worker earning €80,000  would be subject to a 6% cut, a pension of €40,000  would be cut by 3%.


:: The Government intends to review Travel and Subsistence arrangements.


:: The agreement includes a clause where voluntary redundancy is allowed if a member of staff cannot accept redeployment.


:: Dismissal will be actively pursued as an option when all other procedures for managing instances of consistent performance issues have been exhausted.


:: Other cutbacks include changes to flexitime where the maximum amount of flexi leave allowed in any flexi period is one day and staff can only run up flexi time when they are needed after hours to complete necessary tasks.


:: Redeployment distance remains 45km from the existing headquarters or staff home location, whichever is nearer to the proposed new location.


:; The agreement states: "Where an individual refuses an assignment to a comparable role in the public service, the individual will be subject to normal disciplinary procedures."


Read the full Labour Relations Commission proposals here

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