Thursday 23 November 2017

Teachers in line for pay boost - but not ministers

'The penalty of a nine-month delay in pay restoration would only apply if teachers were to go on strike, which it is understood is not a prospect in the short to medium term' (stock photo)
'The penalty of a nine-month delay in pay restoration would only apply if teachers were to go on strike, which it is understood is not a prospect in the short to medium term' (stock photo)

Cormac McQuinn and Alan O'Keeffe

Teachers could be included in the pay restoration process from January, even though they haven't signed up to the Government's public sector pay deal.

The proposed law, which will bring the latest Lansdowne Road Agreement into effect, leaves it up to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to define which of its members should be covered by pay restoration.

Under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Bill, unless ICTU explicitly says that the INTO, ASTI and TUI should not be included due to their opposition to the deal, their members will also receive pay restoration, beginning on January 1.

The penalty of a nine-month delay in pay restoration would only apply if teachers were to go on strike, which it is understood is not a prospect in the short to medium term.

Separately, a section of the Bill excludes the Taoiseach and senior and junior ministers from office-holder pay increases due to a government decision that they would waive those hikes. The Government is seeking to have the law passed by the end of the year.

It comes as the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) voted overwhelmingly to back the new pay deal. The ballot results announced last night at the AGSI National Executive meeting saw 91pc vote in favour of the agreement. A spokesperson for AGSI said: "The result was overwhelming and decisive by the membership."

Meanwhile, the Labour Court will issue its recommendation on the Irish Rail pay dispute later today as unions insist they will not back down from further industrial action.

The day-long talks at the Labour Court yesterday ended just before 6pm. Union leaders declared next Tuesday's planned one-day strike, which will coincide with Ireland's soccer international against Denmark, was "still on" pending their consideration of what the court recommends. Irish Rail executives said they hoped the proposals would lead to a suspension of the threatened strike. Commuters are hoping the threat of another strike will be lifted. Unions are seeking a 3.75pc pay rise without productivity while the company offered 1.75pc for one year, subject to a number of measures.

General secretary of the NBRU Dermot O'Leary said: "Tuesday's dispute goes ahead as of now and the only thing that can change that is, first of all, the recommendation and, secondly, the committee of the five unions making a judgment call or a decision."

Irish Independent

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