Many education workers are due to receive their next union-negotiated pay and pension levy boosts from 1st January. Under the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA), pay for staff on education department salary scales will go up by 1% for those who earn €30,000 a year or less.
The pension levy threshold will also rise to €32,000 for all who pay the levy, bringing a net improvement of €325 a year for most.
There’s a further pension levy boost for those who joined the public service after January 2013, and who are in the single public service pension scheme. They will now pay only two-thirds of the pension levy rate – a figure that will fall to one-third next year.
The PSSA, which was negotiated by Fórsa and other unions in 2017, will also deliver another 1.75% salary adjustment in September. These, and further pay boosts due next year, will apply to staff on education department scales.
However, the majority of school secretaries and caretakers are paid from a grant and are not on public service scales. Under the terms of a 2015 arbitration finding they are to receive a 2.5% increase from 1st January 2019. Fórsa is preparing to launch a major campaign next year for pay parity for these staff.
The PSSA was accepted in ballots of the members of the three unions that amalgamated to create Fórsa earlier this year. It will also see an end to the pension levy on any non-pensionable elements of public service incomes from January 2019.
Earlier this year, the union also insisted on early measures to address the ‘new entrants’ pay issue even though, under the agreement, this was not bound to be dealt with until 2020 at the earliest.
Non-pay provisions in the PSSA include strong protections against outsourcing.