Public Service Stability Agreement Pay Increase
The deal, negotiated in December between government officials and the public sector trade union movement, is estimated at €906 million, spread over 2021, 2022 and 2023. This fund will initially amount to 1% of the basic pensionable salary for the duration of the new agreement. The proposed agreement was rejected by members of the second-level teachers` union, ASTI, the Irish Medical Organisation and the organisation representing scientists in medical laboratories. The leadership of the Teachers` Union of Ireland has urged its members to vote against the proposed deal. However, it has not yet reached a vote on the agreement. The agreement was followed by other measures, including some concerning working hours, through the Haddington Road agreement. There will be a vote of the members of Fórsa who will fall under the agreement. The union will decide whether the union supports the acceptance or rejection of the package. As regards outsourcing, the agreement maintains the existing safeguards for any proposal to outsource the provision of public services. During the term of the agreement, no sectoral or variety-based claims are allowed outside this process. “I believe that Fórsa members strongly supported this agreement because their wage provisions are mainly aimed at low-income workers and because it includes a mechanism to deal with overtime hours introduced during the last financial crisis for low-wage civil servants.
This is long overdue, not least because catering has already been done for higher-paid employees who have suffered temporary wage cuts as an alternative to overtime. Fórsa, the largest public sector union, announced on Monday that its members overwhelmingly supported the proposed deal in a vote. The agreement also provides for a follow-up agreement to address the implementation of additional recommendations. The first chapter of the proposed agreement acknowledges the recent “unprecedented demonstration of commitment, flexibility, hard work and agility in the delivery of public services” and commits the parties to use this momentum to address the immediate challenges of 2021 and 2022. These include the ongoing response to Covid-19, the return to normal delivery of health services, ensuring that schools remain open and addressing the challenges that have faced children during the crisis, responding to Brexit, establishing the public service as a driver of best practices in remote working and managing digitalisation. If ratified, the agreement would provide for the creation of a “sectoral bargaining fund”, which would initially amount to 1% of the basic pensionable salary for the duration of the agreement. It is not possible to increase the allocation by proposing productivity measures. Nor can the process “lead to unintended results of increased costs.” The “72 hours” for Assistants with Special Needs (SNA) were introduced under the 2010 Croke Park Agreement and not the 2013 Haddington Road Agreement. They replaced an existing contractual obligation to work six days during school holidays.
It also includes measures to improve access to services through reformed labour practices, including allowing temporary transfers where necessary and increasing public sector staff where necessary. Organisations representing civil servants outside the Irish Confederation of Trade Unions – such as the Guard and the Defence Force – have complained that, despite previous government assurances that they would be involved, they have effectively been excluded from final negotiations on the new deal. The document confirms this on 1. October 2021, a general increase of 1% of the gross salary or 500 euros per year, whichever is higher. Like the current Public Service Stability Agreement (PSA), the proposed new agreement includes a provision to review the terms of the agreement “where the assumptions underlying the agreement need to be revised.” However, union negotiators successfully insisted that the wording of the ASSP, which specifically linked this to a deterioration in the economic situation, be removed. This creates an opportunity to call for a revision of the package if the economic situation improves beyond expectations. If you have a question about the proposed agreement, please email it to email@example.com it includes measures to harness the potential of technology to improve service delivery, including participation in new technologies, as well as streamlined, automated and redesigned processes and procedures, including remote work “where appropriate”. It identifies the need for staff training and retraining as jobs, roles and processes change. Strict safeguards against outsourcing remain in place. Management first looked for measures that would have increased the risk of outsourcing and privatization. However, the final text retains the existing safeguards. These include the requirement for employers to present a “business case” if they want to outsource a service or part of a service and the requirement to consult with employee representatives.
Importantly, employers are prohibited from including labour costs in any business case. The Croke Park agreement came after the imposition of two wage cuts and, although it does not promise forced layoffs, workers had to work with less difficulty, as the agreement focused on public sector reform. The agreement provides for a wage increase of 1% in October 2021 and a further increase of 1% in October 2022. Fórsa insisted that these issues be addressed in the agreement for the sake of fairness, as wage cuts for high earners and other measures introduced under the HRA have been (or need to be addressed), while these measures – which have fallen on middle and lower incomes – have not. We have also been informed that the first commitment to the possibility of a succession agreement will begin in September – it was planned to start this commitment much earlier, but for obvious reasons that did not take place. The allocation of tools for craftsmen will be reduced to the 2012 level when the proposed agreement is ratified. The package, if ratified by members of public sector unions, will run until 31 December 2022. If the issues identified for a category, group or class cannot be fully resolved within the 1% allocation, the Parties shall agree on the elements that can be implemented under this Agreement. The outstanding items “will be dealt with in a future sectoral negotiation fund under the next agreement”. This section of the proposed agreement concerns certain measures introduced under the 2013 Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) and still in force. The measures to be taken under this agreement are overtime hours introduced under the HRA, as well as the payment of overtime and bonuses.
If the proposed agreement is passed, unions will not be able to make allegations of improvements in wages or working conditions that “increase costs” during the term of the agreement. A second similar increase will be expected a year later, on October 1, 2022. Ultimately, public service agreements are accepted or rejected by the ICTU`s Public Service Committee (PSC), which represents all ICTU-affiliated unions with members of the public and public sectors. It decides by a weighted sum of the results of all union votes, which means that the voting strength of each union is determined by the number of members it has in the public and public service. .