Public Sector Pay – The Next Steps
In January 2016, the process of restoring our members’ pay began as the pension levy threshold was raised from €15,000 to €26,083.
As well as pension levy reductions, low paid health workers also saw pay increases of 2.5% on earnings up to €24,000 and 1% for earnings between €24,000 and €31,000.
These adjustments put €1000 back into our members’ pay packets. In January 2017, the pension levy threshold will increase again, to €28,750.
In September 2017, health workers earning up to €65,000 will also get increases worth €1,000. This is progress but there is still a long way to go.
We are campaigning to ensure that the contribution made by all health workers, particularly those on low pay is recognised and rewarded with accelerated pay restoration in a NEW DEAL FOR HEALTH.
What is the Public Service Pay Commission?
The Programme for Government promised to establish a Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) to “examine pay levels across the public service, including entry levels of pay,” but gave no further details. Now public spending minister Paschal Donohoe has got Cabinet approval to establish the Commission.
What will the Public Service Pay Commission do?
The body will “provide authoritative and evidence-based analysis of pay matters,” and assist the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in its negotiations with unions.
It won’t replace direct union-management negotiations on pay and related matters.
It will be able to compare pay rates for specific public service grades and occupations with private sector trends in the context of recruitment and retention difficulties.
It will be able to make comparisons between the pay of Irish public servants and their equivalent grades in other countries. However, such comparisons will have to “have due regard” to the cost of living in each jurisdiction. This is significant because Ireland has one of the highest costs of living in the EU.
It will also take account of things like pension benefits, security of tenure, and recruitment and retention issues. Of course, these have always been factors in public service pay determination.
How will the Public Service Pay Commission work?
It’s expected that the Commission will commission research, as well as using existing data on pay and conditions. It will seek submissions from unions. It is also understood that it will publish its findings and the evidence on which its findings are based.
What happens next?
Firstly, there will be a short public consultation before the terms of reference are finalised. Next, the membership of the Commission – including a chair – will be appointed.
SIPTU will keep you informed of any further development on www.siptuhealth.ie
SIPTU Health is undertaking this survey in order to get an indication of what workplace issues are affecting our members and your views on pay restoration and pay progression in the public service.
The names of all those who completed the survey will go into a draw to win an iPad mini. The winners will be chosen at SIPTU Health Divisional Conference on October 14th.
If you have any queries contact SIPTU Health Division, firstname.lastname@example.org