Ezine – July 2016
E-zine – 02/2016 Members
The Association continues to prioritise the issue of pay. Here is a link to a recent press release issued by the Association.
FEMPI: The Association notes that the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Mr Pascal Donoghue TD has extended the FEMPI for another year quoting a number of factors including the drop in the exchange rate with sterling, the dangers imposed by BREXIT, the high level of public debt at 93.8% of GDP and our commitments under the Stability and Growth Pact. Here is a link to the Ministers statement. While an element of the FEMPI cuts will be restored in two equal phases on 1 April 2017 and 1 January 2018, the Executive Committee believes that the issue of a clear timetable for the restoration of all the FEMPI cuts should be outlined before the proposed pay commission examines the pay of our members.
Public Service Pay Commission: The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Paschal Donohoe has announced the establishment of the Public Service Pay Commission. The Minister intends to conduct a short public consultation over the coming weeks about the role and methodology of the Commission. The establishment of a Public Service Pay Commission to examine pay levels across the public Service is a commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government. It was also a commitment obtained by the Association when it met with the political parties during 2015 and also at the Political Hustings held earlier this year just before the calling of the General Election. Here is a link to the Minister’s announcement and here is the response of the Public Services Committee of ICTU.
Pay & Benefits Research Study by AHCPS In addition the Executive Committee of the Association has engaged Dr Richard Boyle and his team in the IPA to conduct research into pay and benefit levels in the private sector against those of the PO and AP and Prison Governor grades in the civil service. The research will be used in compiling a case for submission to the Public Service Pay Commission.
Grace Period: Under the Lansdowne Road Agreement the Grace period by which staff can retire on their pre Haddington Road Salaries has been extended to 1 April 2019. The vast bulk of AHCPS members will have their salaries restored to pre Haddington Road levels by January 2018.
APs on salaries of €65,000. It has come to the attention of the Association that some APS who were promoted since Haddington Road and are on a salary point of €65,000 have had their incremental progression delayed by 6 months. The Haddington Road Agreement at 2.17 states “For those on salaries between €35,000 and €65,000, two three-month increment freezes will apply.” Section 2.18 states “For those on salaries above €65,000, two six-months increment freezes will apply. The third and fourth points on the AP standard Scale (Pre 95) and the first and second point on the AP standard Scale (Post 95) are at €65,000. For any member on those points of the AP scale the increment freeze is three months.
The increment freeze will cease from 1 July 2017. So any member, particularly those on LSIs who have not had two increment freezes by 1 July 2017 will not suffer an increment freeze after that date.
Flexi Time/Work Sharing: The Association is preparing a claim for the next meeting of the Staff Panel of Unions for tabling at General Council in connection with our requirement that flexible working hours [FWH] be extended to Assistant Principal Officers appointed since the application of the Haddington Road Agreement [HRA]. In addition, the Association is seeking the removal of the requirement to have a minimum 50% attendance in work-sharing arrangements.
Review of Sick Leave. As part of the Sick Leave proposals introduced from 31 March 2014 there was provision for a review of the scheme. The review has commenced and the Public Services Committee of ICTU have a number of issues that they wish to be addressed.
PO Open Panel: No 42 on the Open PO panel has been appointed. A total of 164 people were placed on the panel. The sequencing as determined by the Arbitration Board is 2 external and 1 internal in each department/Office.
ADC Action on Motions: A report on action taken on motions from ADC 2016 has been posted on the website and can be accessed Here
PeoplePoint: The Association continues to attend the Sub-Committee of General Council where various issues that are on-going with PeoplePoint are addressed with the Staff Side of Unions. At the last meeting held on 13/7/16 PeoplePoint highlighted that in planning retirement members need to factor in that the lump-sum is paid two weeks after retirement day – in effect two weeks post the final salary payment. PeoplePoint is highlighting this in its documentation and portal as previously some departments had a practice of paying the lump sum on the last service day. Additional information on retirements is now provided via the PeoplePoint portal in FAQs accessed via the connection marked ‘Retirement’.
Accommodation: A number of departments or sections of departments are in the process of moving to new accommodation which includes a reduction in the number of cellular offices available for our grades. The Head Office Officials are assisting branches whose departments are re-locating in negotiations with local management.
A 2.5% pay increase has been agreed within An Post effective from 1st May 2016 via Labour Court facilitation. 50% of the increase is linked to cost saving measures including changes to sick leave arrangements to mirror the new scheme in the Public Service.
Pay talks have commenced in Premier Lotteries Ireland while a 6% pay increase over four years commencing 1/1/16 has been agreed in the Irish Aviation Authority.
Combined Services Third World Fund: The annual report of the fund is available Here
Bereavement Grant: The Association is introducing initially on a 12 month pilot basis a bereavement grant scheme for members and their spouse/co habiting partner. A €5,000 grant may be paid on the death of a member or a member’s spouse/co habiting partner. The person must be a fully paid up member of the Association at the time of the death. The pilot will be introduced from 1 August 2016 and will be reviewed by the Executive after a 12 month period.
28 July 2016