Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants


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Ezine - February 2015

(13 Feb 2015)

Ezine 01/2015

Ezine – February 2015

The Pay and Productivity provisions of the Haddington Road Agreement took effect from the 1st of July 2013 for a three-year period. For our grades, the pay scales are due to be restored within 18 months of the end of the agreement, in two equal phases, the first after 9 months (April 2017) and the second 9 months later (January 2018). Talks are likely to commence in early summer on the broader pay issue. In addition to the restoration of pay on the dates above, discussions will focus on whether the income recovery should involve a reduction in the pension levy or an increase in gross pay. The Association sees the restoration dates and income recovery talks as the first step in an unwinding of the three pieces of Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation.

Grace Period
The grace period, for members considering retirement on pre Haddington Road pay levels was due to expire on the 30th June 2015. This period has been extended in a series of increments, which has made it more difficult for members to decide on a retirement date. The Association wrote to DPER requesting that the grace period be extended to January 2018 which is when the second payroll restoration is due to take place. A copy of the letter can be found here.

The Association has indicated to DPER that many members feel that they are being effectively "pushed out" at a time that is not of their choosing. DPER issued a Press Release stating that the grace period had been extended to June 2016. A copy of that press release and the Association’s response can be found here.

The New Union Project
Talks have continued with the other public service unions (CPSU, IMPACT, PSEU and VOA) on the possibility of sharing services, or even merging into a single large entity. Officials and Officers of the Association met with representatives of IMPACT and the VOA, to discuss common issues for staff at senior grades. The General Secretaries and senior officers of the unions also met at a separate meeting. All talks are exploratory, under the aegis of ICTU, and no decisions will be made without the approval of members. The common goal is to create an entity which will provide a better organisation in terms of service and representation for its members and which is an improvement on that delivered by each of the existing organisations.

Meetings with Political Parties
The Association had previously met with Sinn Féin and the Labour Party and, in a continuation of these series of meetings, recently met with Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil, as well as other party officials. We again outlined our position on Pay Restoration under the Haddington Road Agreement and asked for their support. Labour and Fianna Fáil were supportive while Sinn Féin were not. We have yet to meet with representatives of Fine Gael and Independents.

The Annual Delegate Conference will be held on Friday 8th of May.  All Branch AGMs have to be completed by Friday 20th of March, as this is the last date for receipt of motions and nominations. Branches which have not yet organised their AGM should contact Head Office as soon as possible, particularly to make arrangements for the attendance of an AHCPS Official.

Branch - Officials
With the appointment of Billy Thompson as Assistant General Secretary, there will be some re-alignment of Branch assignments amongst the officials. A list is contained here of the allocated Branches. Billy’s replacement as Treasurer of the Association is Larry Dunne, a member of the Executive and staff member of DPER. Mark Crowther has also been recruited as a part-time Research and Development Officer. His duties include IT support to the Association as well as assisting Branches in a recruitment drive for new members.

Income Protection
Income Continuance is an insurance scheme available to members, whereby they can ensure continued income in the event of them going out on an extended period of sick leave.  Currently, they would go on to half pay after three months and Temporary Rehabilitation Rate (TRR) of pay after a further three months. Members are also reminded that, if they have been promoted to AP, they should ensure that they transfer from the PSEU scheme to the AHCPS scheme. The schemes are provided by different providers. Apart from being at a cheaper rate of 0.60%, it will also ensure that your cover is not affected.

Pink Power/ Blue Power
This programme was negotiated by the Association as part of the renewal of the Income Protection Scheme.    The programme will be managed by Cornmarket, funded by New Ireland, provided by the Mater Private and will be available free of charge to all AHCPS ICP members.  

The “Pink Power” programme aims to increase breast cancer awareness amongst scheme members under the age of 50 (those over 50 are covered by the National Screening Programme).     A Dublin based seminar will be delivered by the Mater Private which will also include attendance by a Nurse and General Practitioner date to be advised.   

The Blue Power Programme involves increasing awareness amongst members of prostrate and testicular cancer.   Those scheme members aged over 49 will be offered a free physical exam and blood test, those aged between 45 and 49 will be offered a free blood test and those aged under 45 will be referred if they have symptoms.   This scheme will be launched on Monday 23rd February 2015 in AHCPS Head Office as mentioned in Cir.4/2015.

Group Life
The Association has negotiated a further reduction in the Group Life Plan, from the existing rate of 0.53% to a new rate of 0.48%. This is further good news for members coming on the back of the reduction in the Income Protection premium.

The various issues that are ongoing within PeoplePoint are being monitored by the Association, and representations are being made on behalf of members.

Civil Service Renewal
The Association notes that DPER has been undertaking a consultation process on this issue. The Association intends to meet with DPER after the process is complete.

C & A Review
The Conciliation & Arbitration scheme for civil servants may be amended. Instead, under the Workplace Relations Acts, they may fall under the remit of the Labour Court and Labour Relations Commission. This may also allow access to the Rights Commissioners for members under the Industrial Relations Acts.





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  • Fleming's Hall 12 Fleming's Place Dublin 4 
  • Phone: +353 1 6686077 / 6686064
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Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants