Govt committed to collective approach to setting pay policy as most orderly & affordable way to deliver for public servants & those using public services
The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr. Paschal Donohoe T.D., announced today (29 November) that, following consideration by Government, his Department will invite the parties to the Lansdowne Agreement to discussions under Section 6 (oversight and governance arrangements) of the Agreement. These discussions, which are expected to conclude before end January next, will seek to address anomalies arising from the recent recommendations issued by the Labour Court in relation to the Industrial Relations disputes with members of An Garda Síochána.
The Government has reiterated its support for the Lansdowne Road Agreement and the collective approach to public service pay issues. The Minister emphasised that the priorities for Government in upcoming discussions will be to:
– secure the continued implementation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement;
– maintain the productivity, industrial peace and stability provided by the Agreement, which are of critical importance to the country and its international reputation; and
– to ensure that issues of mutual concern to the parties are addressed in a fair and reasonable way but, above all, in a manner that safeguards existing government expenditure commitments and the broader fiscal position.
Separate to this process, and as previously stated, the Public Service Pay Commission is expected to deliver its initial report in Q2 2017. This report will provide inputs on how unwinding of FEMPI legislation can be best managed in the context of the national finances. It will also have regard to any particular labour market challenges the Commission identifies and to other conditions of service of public servants including tenure and pension.
The Minister confirmed that once this report is available, the Government intends to initiate negotiations on a successor Collective Agreement ahead of Budget 2018 considerations. These negotiations will deal with the full range of issues including productivity, reform and the issue of affordable increases in pay.