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10/09/2019 Comments are off Patrick Cole

Health workers September pay boost

This month, SIPTU members working in the health service will receive a 1.75% pay boost. The rise will also go to workers ‘section 38’ organisations including large voluntary hospitals.

The increase, which takes effect from 1st September, was negotiated by SIPTU and other unions as part of the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA).

This is the second pay adjustment to be implemented this year. The pay of public servants who earn who earn less than €30,000 a year went up by 1% in January, while those earning over €30,000 benefited from a reduced contribution to the ‘additional superannuation contribution,’ which replaced the so-called ‘pension levy’ under the PSSA.

There were also two increases – each worth 1% – in 2018. Next year will see a further adjustment to the additional superannuation contribution in January, and a 2% increase is due in October 2020.

To view the new HSE pay scales click here

Summary of income improvements

  • 1st January 2018: 1% pay adjustment
  • 1st October 2018: 1% pay adjustment
  • 1st January 2019: Additional superannuation contribution threshold up from €28,750 to €32,000 (worth €325 a year). 1% pay increase for those who don’t benefit (ie, those earning less than €30,000 a year)
  • 1st September 2019: 1.75% pay adjustment
  • 1st January 2020: Additional superannuation contribution threshold increased to €34,500 (worth €250 a year). 0.5% pay increase for those who don’t benefit (ie, those earning less than €32,000 a year)
  • 1st October 2020: 2% pay adjustment
  • 31st December 2020: Agreement concludes.

New entrantsThe term ‘new entrants’ refers to people who started work in the health service after 2011, when inferior pay scales for new staff were imposed by the Government without agreement.

Although those inferior scales (worth 10% less at every point of each scale) were abolished at unions’ insistence under the 2013 Haddington Road agreement, ‘new entrants’ continued to have longer pay scales than their longer-serving colleagues, with two lower pay points at the beginning of each scale.

Some grades also saw the abolition of certain allowances for new entrants.

The PSSA established a process involving the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) which, following detailed discussions and inputs from SIPTU and other unions, resulted in a solution of the pay scale issue in 2018.

This was at least two years earlier than the PSSA originally provided for.

Under these measures, ‘new entrants’ will skip two points – the fourth and eighth – on each pay scale. SIPTU representatives welcomed this outcome because it ensures a fair outcome for ‘new entrants’ regardless of their length of service.

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