Friday 24 November 2017

Now top civil servants to get €8k pay increases

Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Pubic Expenditure and Reform, speaking at a news briefing on the implementation of the Landsdowne Road Agreement. Photo: Tom Burke
Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Pubic Expenditure and Reform, speaking at a news briefing on the implementation of the Landsdowne Road Agreement. Photo: Tom Burke

Philip Ryan and Cormac McQuinn

The country's highest paid civil servants are in line for massive pay hikes estimated to be worth more than €8,000 under the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

However, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is refusing to reveal details of individual salaries and expects pay increases due to be paid to Government department secretary generals in April.

The country's most senior civil servants earn between €175,000 and €185,000, and are set to see their salaries soar once the terms of the new public sector pay deal is enacted.

TDs came under fire when it emerged they were due to get a €5,414 pay hike on top of their €87,258 salaries.

Following public outcry, many TDs decided to forgo the increase and the fiasco caused major embarrassment for Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal Donohoe.

However, Mr Donohoe's officials are now refusing to release any details on the pay increases to be paid to the six-figure salaried secretary generals.

Despite numerous requests over the course of two weeks, officials refused to provide any clarity on the pay deal reached with the country's highest paid civil servants.

Read more: Donohoe says new pay boost for public sector works is no capitulation to unions

A spokesperson said details would only be made available once a circular on civil service pay grades is completed.

Figures previously obtained by the Irish Independent showed a civil servant earning €100,000 a year is expected to get a pay hike of almost €7,000, while those earning €120,000 will see their salary increase by more than €8,000.

These massive pay hikes pale in comparison to the meagre pay increases the average public sector worker will receive over the next two years.

Secretary generals, who are the highest paid members of the unelected permanent government, saw their pay reduced during the recession but are set to see their salaries partially restored under the latest public sector pay deal.

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform secretary general Robert Watt is among those who will see their pay increase.

Mr Watt and Mr Donohoe will be central to the forthcoming pay negotiations with trade unions.

The department regularly releases details of pay increase for low-paid public sector workers agreed under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

But when asked for details of the pay hikes soon to be paid to secretary generals, officials would only release details of the salaries they currently receive.

On January 3, the Irish Independent contacted the 16 Government departments asking them to provide details of the current pay packet of their respective secretary generals.

Read more: Comment: We're all paying the price for grotesque influence of public service unions and weaker Government

We also asked how much their pay will be increased by on April 1, when pay restoration for all civil servants kicks in under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

The Department of Public Expenditure issued a response on behalf of all of the departments three days later. It did not provide the salary details of each of the secretary generals.

Yesterday, Mr Donohoe said he would only release details of secretary general pay increases once a circular is drafted by his officials.

A spokesman for the department said under the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015, those on salaries in excess of €110,000 will see restoration in three tranches starting on April 1, 2017, and on the same date in the following years.

"A circular setting out the revised salary rates applicable from April 1, 2017, to general civil service grades, including secretary generals, is currently in preparation and will be issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in due course," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Also in this section