Ezine – August 2019
Dear Branch Secretary
Below is an update on current issues. Please circulate to all members.
Public Service Pay & Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020: The next restoration to pay scales is 1.75% on 1st September 2019 followed by 2% on 1st October 2020. The Association has prepared an information sheet for members that can be accessed here. The remaining FEMPI-related deduction, that is due to be restored by 1st of July 2021 at the latest, is also shown.
The information sheet also contains a clarification for members on the Additional Superannuation Contribution [ASC] that was introduced on 1st January 2019 in place of the Pension Related Deduction (Pension Levy). Please also see the DPER circular (21/2018) in relation to the ASC here.
Details in relation to Government policy on increases to Public Service pensions up to 2020 can be accessed through circular 2/2018 here.
Income Continuance Policy
The Association is pleased to advise members that at its July meeting the Executive Committee approved a 5-year renewal with New Ireland Insurance of our Salary Protection Scheme effective from 1st September 2019. The additional good news is that the cost has reduced from 0.60% to 0.57% of gross salary.
The Association also successfully negotiated the inclusion of cover to retirement at age 66/67/68 for members recruited since 1st January 2013 under the Career Average/Single Pension Scheme.
The New IC Scheme continues to cover Pre & Post ‘95 members to 65.
The Association continues to emphasise the importance of Income Continuance cover that pays up to 75% of salary in the event of a member going on Half Pay, Temporary Rehabilitation Pay or Nil Pay. This can happen very quickly under the new sick leave rules. The cost of Income Continuance is tax deductible.
The Association continues to ask members to check their pay slips and ensure that when they joined the Association, they changed over any existing IC policy. The pay slip deduction should record as Ahcps Icp.6(P.C.) or similar and equate to gross salary x 0.6% or 0.57% from 1/9/19. If that is not the case, you need to contact us otherwise there may be issues arising in the event of future claims.
Blue & Pink Power Campaign –the Association via Cornmarket will run a health awareness campaign in Q1 of 2020 for all Income Continuance members while encouraging new members to join. Currently 2,045 out of 3,300 are in the scheme [62%]. Some members will recall that a similar campaign was run in 2015 with 7 members diagnosed with cancer as a direct result of the programme. All were successfully treated.
The 2020 Q1 campaign will be run in association with “Full Health Medical”, who offer nationwide clinics, online appointment and risk assessment form and examination at clinic. Specialist treatment at Beaumont private Clinic, Bon Secours (Dublin, Galway & Cork) under health insurance or public health system.
Flexible Working Hours (FWH)
The Arbitration Board Hearing on the matter of the removal of the ability to accrue leave by Assistant Principals on FWH appointed since 2013 was held on 23rd July 2019.
We await the ruling of the Arbitration Board that is expected shortly.
NSSO Customer Survey
The Association, along with FORSA, is part of the Steering Group for a large-scale customer survey of the National Shared Services Office. The purpose of the survey is to gather user feedback on the performance of the service against user expectations and to use the survey results to develop an action plan aimed at improving areas of concern.
The first phase of the survey – aimed at local HR units – has now been completed and results are being analysed. The second phase – aimed at all customers – is due to be rolled out in September 2019. The Association urges all members to complete this survey and ensure that a strong customer voice is central to the future development of the NSSO.
TLAC Preparation Event – 22nd October 2019 in the Morrison Hotel. This is being held by the Association as part of the ongoing round of seminars for members. Bryan Andrews, former Public Appointments CEO, will facilitate the event along representatives of the Senior Public Service.
Autumn Member Seminar – 20th November 2019 in the Morrison Hotel covering Applied Leadership Shills.
Notifications will issue in due course through Branch Secretaries concerning bookings for these events.
Retirement Course – The Association intends to hold further retirement courses in Q4 of 2019 in response to enquiries and requests we are receiving. The date(s) will be notified via branch secretaries with consideration being given to the inclusion of a provincial location.
ADC 2019 – will be held on 22nd May 2020 in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane. A link to photos from this year’s ADC can be accessed here.
The Executive Committee recently approved a tender spec for the re-development of the AHCPS Website with the intention of including a new user-friendly members area and the facility for on-line member applications.
DPER Circular 08/2019
The Association successfully negotiated new terms for starting pay on promotion for existing civil servants appointed through open competition since 1st January 2018. Members will recall that those successful via Open PO Competitions did not necessarily start at the same point as those appointed from internal competitions. Circular 8/2019 can be accessed here.
Panels & PO Sequence
2017 Open Principal Officer Panel: A panel of 78 is in place since 21st November 2017 but is now exhausted for Dublin appointments. Some successful candidates remain on the panel awaiting regional appointments. DPER has given no indication of any plans for a new competition.
PO Sequence: The Association continues to await DPER’s response to our position that the two in three requirement, under the Arbitration Board ruling of September 2015 must change.
PO1 Panel: There were 12 in total placed on the panel.
AP1 Panel: The panel of 46 is exhausted.
Members are reminded of the Association’s twitter account @ahcps Please follow and retweet etc.
This circular will be placed on the Association’s website www.ahcps.ie.