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Sunday 21 January 2018

First union backs draft public sector pay deal

AHCPS General secretary Ciaran Rohan
AHCPS General secretary Ciaran Rohan

Anne-Marie Walsh

HIGHER paid civil servants have voted in favour of a €1.1bn proposed pay deal with the government.

Members of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants backed the deal by a majority of 82pc.

The proposed agreement will give most public servants an increase in their wages worth over 7pc.

Their pay boost would come in the form of pay rises and an easing in a pension levy that was introduced during the financial crisis.

However, part of their existing pension levy payments will be converted into a permanent extra pension contribution in recognition of the dramatic loss in value of private sector pensions.

The AHCPS is the first union to finish balloting on the deal that was agreed last month and is currently being balloted on by state workers.

It represents 3,000 members who are mainly in the principal officer grade as well as managers in the semi-state sector.

The union's executive did not give a recommendation whether members should back the deal or not.

General Secretary of the AHCPS, Ciaran Rohan, said the union was disappointed that its members would be waiting a further five years to see their pay levels restored to pre-recession levels nut welcomed "progress" made during the talks.

"We will continue in the months and years ahead to work with our members to deliver the full restoration of their pay," he said.

"If we want to attract and retain experienced and skilled managers into the civil and public sector, we need to ensure that they are remunerated appropriately and in line with what’s available in the private sector."

The proposed pay deal will cost €887m over three years and €1.1bn over four years.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has claimed there will still be room for tax cuts despite the cost of the deal.

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