ICTU Public Services Committee approves Public Service Stability Agreement

The Public Services Committee (PSC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has today (Monday 18th September 2017) voted to approve the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA). The deal was accepted by 80% to 20% on an aggregate ballot of the PSC at a meeting in the ICTU Offices in Dublin this morning (Monday, 18th September).

Individual unions balloted their members over the summer on the terms of the agreement, which was endorsed by members of SIPTU, IMPACT, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), TEEU and civil service unions the PSEU and CPSU.

The agreement ensures that, by 2020, more than 90% of public servants will be out of ‘FEMPI’ pay provisions, and almost a quarter will have exited FEMPI pension levy payments.

The deal guarantees public servants pay restoration, job security and pension certainty through positive pay and pension levy adjustments. 73% of public sector workers will receive a boost of 7% or more to their take-home pay while preserving the value of their pensions and protecting their jobs from outsourcing over the lifetime of the agreement.

The agreement also provides a clear road map to address outstanding issues like pay for new entrants employed since 2010 and any outstanding barriers to recruitment and retention of health professionals.

The unions will immediately seek to have discussions with the Government to activate these provisions.

 Main provisions of the Public Sector Stability Agreement (PSSA):

  • 1st January 2018: 1% pay adjustment
  • 1st October 2018: 1% pay adjustment
  • 1st January 2019: Pension levy threshold up from €28,750 to €32,000 (worth €325pa)
  • 1st January 2019: 1% pay adjustment for those earning less than €30,000
  • 1st September 2019: 1.75% pay adjustment
  • 1st January 2020: Pension levy threshold increased to €34,500 (worth €250pa)
  • 1st January 2020: 0.5% pay increase for those earning less than €32,000
  • 1st October 2020: 2% pay adjustment

The proposed agreement includes a range of non-pay measures including:

  • The retention of outsourcing protections
  • A facility to revert to pre-Haddington Road working hours (with a commensurate pay adjustment)
  • An end to pension levy payments on non-pensionable earnings, including overtime
  • A process to address longer pay scales for new (post-2010) entrants
  • A process to assess recruitment and retention problems in certain grades and professions
  • Commitments on work-life balance arrangements, and
  • A commitment not to increase NMBI, CORU, or other professional registration fees, during the lifetime of the agreement.

Keep our campaign moving – vote ‘YES’

SIPTU members have been voting in their thousands over the last four weeks on the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) in workplaces across the country.

Since November 2016 SIPTU representatives demanded that pay talks begin earlier than anticipated by Government in light of the Gardai pay deal.

This strategy complimented our division’s long standing campaign to get three key demands delivered at the recent public service pay talks.

Early pay restoration, job security, pension certainty and a road map to meaningful pay progression.

Together, we ensured that the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) achieved the following in terms of pay:

The Lansdowne Road agreement was due to expire in September 2018. The proposed Public Service Stability Agreement implements the first tranche of pay restoration from January 2018. 

  • A combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth 7.4% to those earning €30,000 a year or less, over the lifetime of a deal.
  • A combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth between 7.0% AND 7.4% to those earning between €30,000 and €50,000 a year, over the lifetime of a deal.
  • A combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth 7% to those earning between €50,000 and €55,000 a year, over the lifetime of a deal
  • A combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth between 6.6% and 6.9% for those between €55,000 and €80,000 a year, over lifetime of a deal

We did not make these gains alone. Our colleagues in IMPACT, TEEU, CPSU MLSA and others also stood with us as we argued with Government to protect decent jobs in the public service, to be carried out by public service workers, and not by “for profit” companies.

From the get go, SIPTU representatives have vigorously campaigned against the draconian FEMPI bill but the fact remains, FEMPI is still the law and will have significant adverse effect on us when the Lansdowne Road Agreement ends. A Yes vote will undoubtedly tip the balance back in favour of public service workers.

Not only does the proposed agreement provide tangible concessions on outsourcing and pay, it gives us a sight of stepping stones we need to make further progress on achieving a better work life balance for workers, a road map to the full restoration of twilight hours allowances and keeps a continued freeze on professional fees.

A strong Yes vote will send a message to Government that discussions to address the iniquities in pay arrangements for staff who entered the public service after January 2011 must be happen in the Autumn.

If accepted, the PSSA facilitates negotiations on the so-called ‘new entrants’ issue, which saw lower pay scales introduced for staff who joined the public service in 2011 and after.

Although the scales were merged in 2013, it still takes ‘new entrants’ two years longer than other public servants to reach the top of their pay scales.

If you have missed a workplace ballot please contact your local organiser or shop steward as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you would prefer to receive a postal ballot please apply here and we will send a leaflet, a ballot paper and free post return envelope to you.

Don’t let someone else decide for you. Use your vote and have your say.

For any further details on the agreement please click here