The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., today (Tuesday) requested Government to note proposals for the establishment of a Public Service Pay Commission on a non–statutory basis.
The Minister also announced the appointment of Mr Kevin Duffy, former Chairman of the Labour Court, as Chairperson of the Commission, saying: ‘A thorough knowledge of industrial relations, independence and objectivity were identified during the consultation process as characteristics which were particularly critical for the Chairperson of the Commission. Mr Duffy’s track record clearly demonstrates that he will bring these vital qualities to the role’.
A further six members are to be appointed in the coming days.
The Public Service Pay Commission will be advisory in nature and will provide an initial report in the second quarter of 2017. The Minister stressed that the Government will retain the ability to negotiate directly with its employees in respect of pay. The Commission will not duplicate the work of the State’s existing industrial relations bodies: the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. Its role will be to provide evidence-based objective analysis on pay matters to assist Department of Public Expenditure and Reform officials in discharging their negotiation function on behalf of Government.
In line with commitments made in the Lansdowne Road Agreement, meetings have taken place in recent weeks with staff representatives (from the Public Services Committee of ICTU, Garda representative associations, and the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers in the Defence Forces) in relation to the establishment of the Public Service Pay Commission.
Terms of Reference and an initial Work Programme for the Commission were also circulated. For its initial report, the Minister said that the Commission will be asked to provide input on how the unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest legislation should proceed. This will inform any future engagement with staff representatives in relation to pay.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform today advised Government of the outcome of the recent public consultation process concerning the role and methodology of the Commission. A short consultation report and copies of the submissions forwarded to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will be made available on the Department’s website later this month.
The Terms of Reference for the Commission are available here.
Note to Editors
Mr Kevin Duffy began his career as a bricklayer, and was an official of the Bricklayers’ Union for 15 years. In 1987, he joined the Irish Congress of Trade Unions as Assistant General Secretary in charge of industrial relations. Mr Duffy – who is a qualified barrister – retired from the Labour Court in June this year, having been appointed as Deputy Chairman in 1997, and serving as Chairman since 2003. Mr Duffy currently chairs the Expert Panel on Water Charges, which is scheduled to report later this year.