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Chair and composition of Public Service Pay Commission crucial to its credibility, say public service unions

The following statement was issued by the ICTU Public Services Committee today (Tuesday) after the Cabinet approved the establishment of a Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC).

“The Public Services Committee (PSC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is ready to engage with Minister Paschal Donohoe and his officials on the terms of reference of the proposed Public Services Pay Commission. Following earlier discussions with Minister Donohoe and his officials, we believe that the Commission has the potential to assist in both the unwinding of the FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) legislation, and in addressing other outstanding issues of concern to public servants.

The credibility of the proposed Commission, in the eyes of public employees and others, will depend on it being chaired by a highly qualified and fully independent expert with a deep understanding of public service pay determination and related issues, including from an employee perspective.

Similarly, its membership will have to be balanced and appropriately weighted to properly reflect all issues outlined in the terms of reference. Among other things, this will require an adequate number of members with a trade union background and experience of public service remuneration and related matters.

The PSC understands that the PSPC will not replace direct pay negotiations between the Government and public service unions. This welcome assurance reflects the position put to the PSC in various engagements with Minister Donohoe and his officials.

The PSC also understands that any international pay comparisons made by the Commission will take account of the cost of living in the jurisdictions examined. This is also welcome.

We understand that trade unions and others will be invited to make submissions to the Commission, and that its findings and evidence will be published, and we will engage in the process on this basis.”

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