IMPACT’s elected Central Executive Committee (CEC) has unanimously recommended that members vote in favour of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020. IMPACT will commence a ballot of members in public service and non-commercial semi-state organisations next week.
The CEC’s decision was taken following a meeting of the union’s Consultative Council this afternoon (Tuesday), which comprises elected representatives of all IMPACT’s branches and divisions.
IMPACT members will have until 12 noon on Friday 14th July to return their ballot papers, and a union-wide result is expected to be announced the following Monday (17th July).
IMPACT’s head of communications Bernard Harbor said: “The CEC recommended acceptance of the agreement on the grounds that it represents an acceleration of pay restoration, preserves the value of public service pensions, and maintains crucial protections against outsourcing. The executive believes the outcome of the recent talks is the best deal available through negotiations at this time.
“If accepted, the agreement ensures that pay lost through ‘FEMPI’ legislation would be restored to more than 90% of public servants. The rest would see full pay restoration within a further two years. And it will also mean pay increases for lower paid staff currently earning less than €28,500, who have already exited FEMPI provisions.
“It will also preserve the value of public service pensions, while taking almost a quarter of public servants out of FEMPI pension levy provisions by 2020. As a result, all public servants would receive positive pay and pension levy adjustments, with 73% seeing gains of 7% or more over the lifetime of the agreement. This is in line with the better union-negotiated pay rounds currently being agreed in the private sector.”
Bernard said the preservation of protections against outsourcing, which IMPACT had successfully invoked to prevent privatisation of local authority services in the past, was also a highly valuable feature of the proposed agreement, which also provides an avenue to address outstanding issues like pay for ‘new entrants,’ employed since 2010, and recruitment and retention problems.
“IMPACT will use these new mechanisms to address recruitment and retention problems among a range of public service grades including health and social care professionals and various civil service professional grades. And we will use the process for dealing with new entrants’ pay to address inequities being experienced by health professionals, low paid staff like special needs assistants and clerical officers, and many others,” he said.