New entrant engagement set for summer
by Bernard Harbor

Contacts between unions and officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) on the ‘new entrant’ issue will continue over the summer, according to Fórsa senior general secretary Shay Cody.


Initial engagements have taken place and DPER is continuing to gather data. Unions and management are exploring the practical issues involved in shortening pay scales for staff who joined the civil and public service after 2010.


Fórsa has called on the Government to allocate funds in October’s Budget to begin shortening new entrant pay scales next year. This would be significantly earlier than envisaged in the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA), which simply committed the Government to explore the issue.


While the focus of the current exchanges is on how to shorten new entrant pay scales, which vary in length for different grades, unions also want to ensure that any solution is fair to those who have gone beyond the two additional points added to the start of pay scales in recent years.


Although no money is budgeted to deal with the issue in 2018, Fórsa senior general secretary Shay Cody said he wanted the implementation of an agreed resolution to begin next year.


“This is an equity issue and, while no money has been allocated to resolve it in 2018, Fórsa believes it should be possible to start funding it next year, rather than delaying until 2020 or beyond. Pay equity is a priority for all trade unions, and every bit of progress in addressing this injustice has been achieved by unions collectively, through national pay negotiations and public service pay agreements,” he said.

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