Ireland’s public service unions are working on a joint submission to the body set up to address the additional working time introduced for many non-commercial semi-state workers under the 2013 Haddington Road agreement.
The independent chair of the body, which was established under the Building Momentum agreement and met for the first time last week, has set a deadline of 11th June for the receipt of union and management submissions. Oral submissions will be heard on 30th June.
Though challenging, Fórsa believes this timetable will enable the body to conduct its own deliberations in time to meet the deadline of making recommendations by the end of this year.
The initial implementation of the body’s recommendations is set to commence in 2022, with €150 million set aside for this purpose. This means working time will start to be reduced for the grades concerned from next year.
The Haddington Road hours were introduced for low and middle-income public servants – including many non-commercial semi-state workers – to avoid a further pay cut during the last financial crisis. Higher-paid staff incurred a third, but temporary, pay cut instead. That pay cut has since been fully restored.
Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan has argued that it’s unfair to deny restoration to lower paid staff, when their better-paid colleagues have experienced full restoration.
Earlier this month, the Government formally announced that the body would be chaired by former WRC chief executive Kieran Mulvey.
The ICTU Public Services Committee, which represents most public service unions, has nominated former IMPACT general secretary Peter McLoone and former INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation) general secretary Liam Doran to the body.
This is because Fórsa and the INMO represent the largest number of civil and public servants affected by the introduction of additional working hours in 2013.
DPER is has nominated two retired senior civil servants to the body, and there are also two independent Government nominees with backgrounds in mediation, personnel management and industrial relations.
It’s never been more important – or easier – to get the protections and benefits of union membership. Join Fórsa HERE or contact us HERE.