Public Sector Unions Agree Deal on Pay Cuts

An agreement has been reached between the government and the public service unions on cutting €1 billion off the public sector pay bill. (Despite some major trade unions walking out of negotiations)

Some higher  earning public sector staff will see their gross pay cut by at least 5.5% if the agreement is accepted.

Pay will be cut for anyone paid  over €65k  as follows:

5.5% cut on the first €80,000 of salary and allowances

8% cut on earnings between €80,000 and €150,000

9% cut on earnings between €150,000 and €185,000

10% on earnings above €185,000

On a €200,000 salary – this would end up with a total cut of  7.325%  – with a  revised  salary of €185,350.

It is not clear how these cuts would work for people just over the €65k – they would end up getting less than someone who was on €64k who won’t have a cut at all !

There is better news for those earning  between €15,000 and €20,000 – they will see their  pension levy deduction reduced  from 5% to 2.5%  – and will end up with more take home pay. (maximum 9.60 a week extra)

Premium rates for working  on a Sunday will be set at 1.75 times normal pay rather than double time.

Workers on a 35 hour week or less will now work a 37 hour week, those on over 35 hours a week now go up to a 39 hour week, while anyone on a 39 hour week remains unchanged but their first hour of overtime will be unpaid.

The  “two-tier” system where newer workers are hired on lower rates is to be ended.

Any teachers hired after 2010 who were paid less then existing staff – will now be on a merged pay scale, funded by the abolition of substitution and supervision allowance.

Twilight allowance” for working between 6pm and 8pm will be abolished.

The validity of the agreement might be questioned because the following unions walked out of discussions near the end : –  Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation , the Irish Medical Organisation , the Civil and Public Services Union  and Unite.

The Garda Representative Association) and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) walked out several weeks ago.

Siptu – the biggest public sector union – has warned the deal  could still be rejected by union members.  Siptu president Jack O’Connor said .. “I’m satisfied the proposal is the best one that could be achieved through negotiation, But industrial action is not off the cards. The majority of union members may decide to reject this proposal.”

Because there are  unions and associations representing 80,000 public service staff  that didn’t agree to the deal  – there is the prospect that the Government may have to introduce legislation to secure savings in the areas where these personnel work.

Enda Kenny had warned at the start of talks – that in the absence of an agreement the Government would introduce legislation to secure the saving of €1 billion over the coming three years. The Government wants to save €300 million this year.

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said: “Let us be quite clear. If the Government moves to legislate then we in turn will move to mobilise with every means at our disposal to oppose the adoption of legislation that will reduce the income that a nurse or midwife receives for working at weekends or an evening which they are required to do to maintain a 24/7 service.”