November 4th, 2016: To address the issue of pay, the AHCPS has reiterated its call on the Government to accelerate the process of pay restoration. It is also demanding an earlier engagement for a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
Ciaran Rohan, General Secretary of the AHCPS said: “Research from the ESRI and Central Statistics Office suggests that senior public servants are now paid less than our private sector counterparts and that the adjustment in pay rates during the recession was more severe for those on higher incomes. This verifies what we have been saying for some time. Our members have suffered cuts to their salaries of up to 23% and average net pay levels are the same as they were over 13 years ago. Our own research shows that the net pay of Assistant Principal Officers is 20% less than their private sector equivalent, and for a Principal Officer that rises to 30%. While some restoration is provided for under the Lansdowne Road, it does not go far enough. We want all FEMPI cuts to be completely reversed and we also want the link between public sector pay and politicians to be broken.* It is imperative that there is an earlier engagement on a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. If we want to recruit and retain the best qualified people and safeguard an efficient and effective civil and public service, a fair and appropriate remuneration must be made available. This is not currently the case for our members,” he concluded.
The Association has also endorsed the calls from other unions for an extraordinary meeting of ICTU’s public services committee.
The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS) represents more than 3,000 senior civil servants and managers in the civil service and semi state sector. In August 2015, 87% of its members balloted opposed the proposed Lansdowne Road Agreement. At the time, the Association’s General Secretary Ciaran Rohan said the result showed the proposed offer to be “both unfair and inequitable” to its members, who received disproportionate cuts to their salaries during the recession.
*Currently politicians set public sector pay levels, and their own salary levels are intrinsically linked with that of Principal Officers.