The Public Service Executive Union represents Executive Grades in the Civil Service & the wider Public Sector.
The duration of the proposed Agreement is 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2020
By the end of 2020, more than 90% of public servants will have gross salaries in excess of those that applied before the paycuts of 2010 and almost a quarter will have exited FEMPI pension levy payments.
Yes. A ballot of members to decide whether or not this Union casts its votes in favour of or against this Agreement will be held in due course.
What happens if here is a ‘no’ vote?
If there is a ‘no’ vote, then the current Agreement – the Lansdowne Road Agreement – will run its course (until September 2018)
Pay and pension levy
Combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth 7.4% to those earning €30,000 a year or less, over lifetime of deal
Combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth approx. 7% to those earning between €40,000 and €55,000 a year, over lifetime of deal
Combination of pay and pension levy adjustments worth between 6.6% and 6.9% for those between €55,000 and €80,000 a year, over lifetime of deal.
There is no change in value of pensions as a result of this deal. Some of the ‘Pension Levy’ will be converted into a real pension contribution and will be related to pension benefits so that non-pensionable earnings such as overtime will, from 2019, be exempt from this. The highest rates of this additional pension contribution are for those on ‘fast accrual’ pensions. The lowest are for post-2013 entrants in new ‘single’ pension arrangement.
This deal guarantees that in the lifetime of the agreement there will be no disimprovements in pension benefits.
The 2012 Pensions Act allows the Government to increase pension rates in line with the Consumer Price Index rather than in line with the traditional link to pay increases. Under this deal, the government commits to maintaining the traditional link – as opposed to the CPI link – for at least the duration of the Agreement.
This also means that anyone who retires during the lifetime of the proposed Agreement, should it be accepted, will benefit from these pension movements should they be retired at the time of the increases.
The increases will apply to all who retired after 2012. For those who retired prior to that, in some instances their pensions will be ahead of pay parity. They will resume receiving the increases when they are back at parity.
The Agreement ends application of the pension levy on non-pensionable earnings, including overtime.
Following difficult negotiations, this deal makes no changes and does not weaken existing outsourcing protocols.
Although it was indeed raised during the negotiations, there is no provision for Saturday working in the final Agreement.
The deal includes a facility to review rostering arrangements for groups, but there can be no change without agreement.
Yes. Section 4.1.3 commits to an examination of the issue. It states:
… it is agreed that an examination of the remaining salary scale issues in respect of post January 2011 recruits at entry grades covered by parties to this Agreement will be undertaken within 12 months of the commencement of this Agreement. On conclusion of this work, the parties will discuss and agree how the matter can be addressed and implemented in a manner that does not give rise to implications for the fiscal envelope of this Agreement and that has regard for the medium term fiscal framework. Any outcome will be restricted to parties adhering to this Agreement.
It was not possible to negotiate a reversal of the additional working hours. However, the survey on the true impact of the time that we ran in November 2016 clearly showed the huge difficulties that the additional time has had on the work/life balance of members. Therefore, following intense negotiations, we managed to secure two concessions that will help members in this area. The first allows members to return to work a 6:57 day with the associated (pro-rata) reduction in pay. There will be two opportunities, one at the start of the Agreement and the other at the end of the Agreement, for members to avail of this option. The new worksharing pattern will equate to a circa 94% pattern.
Alternatively, for those who do not wish to take this once-off offer, there will be a new option of being able to off-set a portion of annual leave against working time, thereby allowing, for example, people to return to work 6:57 on occasion and off-set the balance against annual leave. Indeed, all annual leave above the statutory minimum will be able to be off-set in this manner should anyone wish to opt to do so.
The Agreement states:
…it is agreed that an opportunity shall be offered between 1 January and 1 April 2018 and at the end of this agreement (1 January to 1 April 2021) to permanently revert to the pre-Haddington Road Agreement hours. Any individuals exercising this option will have their pay reduced commensurately, in line with previous arrangements. The application of this arrangement at the sectoral level will depend on service delivery requirements and business needs.
In those areas where flexi-time currently exists and, with full regard to service delivery requirements and business needs, arrangements may be made to enable annual leave in excess of the statutory minimum to be used on the flexi-clock to allow staff to reduce their working hours to address work-life balance issues that may arise. This will initially be done on a confined pilot basis, with a view to further extension, subject to a comprehensive assessment of the operational and cost implications.
If the agreement is accepted, Executive Officers with at least 12 years’ service or more will receive an extra day annual leave and those with 14 years’ service or more will receive two days’ leave. This will take effect from the 2018 Annual Leave year. For leave purposes, service in CO and SO grades counts towards EO leave entitlements. As a result about 80% of the grade will qualify for at least one additional day from the 2018 Annual Leave year. This will see EO leave rise to a maximum of 27 days’ leave per annum (after 14 years) and would close the ‘leave’ gap that currently exists between EOs and top management grades to 3 days (since 2011, no new entrant at any grade can have a leave allowance greater than 30 days).
Yes. The pay increase will not just apply to your current point on your pay scale. It will be applied to all points in the payscale of a grade.
The PSEU considers this pay restoration. We have noted, however, that some consider this a pay increase. However, given the amount of money that people forfeited in recent years to ensure national financial stability, to consider the money as anything other than a restoration is, at best, a gross misunderstanding of the last decade
In addition, a review is taking place to facilitate public servants recruited since 1995, who are Class A PRSI contributors and whose pension is integrated with the state pension, to have the option to remain in employment until they qualify for the state pension.
Is this not the case that if we retired at 65, we would have the shortfall in the difference between our employment pension and our integrated State pension paid by our employer until the State Pension begins at age 67/68?
It is, unfortunately, not straight forward. Under the current regime, those who retire before the State Pension age and who have an integrated pension scheme must first apply to sign on for jobseekers allowance for a period of time (circa 9 months). Following this, they should apply for a supplementary pension that will be paid until the State Pension falls due to be paid.
Further details are available at the Civil Service Pensions website (click here).
The Pay Agreement allows for a review to facilitate those who wish to work beyond the age of 65. Questions have been asked by members about what happens, for example, in a case of someone who wishes to stay on until 68 but who has already made provision for the purchase of additional service as they believed at the time that they would not have been able to work beyond 65. These issues will be raised during the proposed review.
The 45km radius has not been changed.
All allowances classified as ‘Allowances in the Nature of pay’ will be increased in line with the provisions of the Agreement.
Update: On 5th December, the General Secretary, in his capacity as Secretary of the ICTU Public Services Committee, issued the following message to unions:
With the publication of this draft legislation, we became aware of an unforeseen difficulty.
Allowances in the nature of pay increased always in line with pay increases. Therefore, the issue did not require discussion in our pay talks. However, it transpires that the Official Side were operating under a different assumption. When pay was cut in 2010 by varying amounts, allowances were not cut in line with the cuts to basic pay. They were cut by an ‘across the board’ amount of 5%. Therefore, the draft legislation provides for a single date for restoration of the 5% cut in 2020. The officers of the committee were not aware that there was any issue of concern until the draft legislation was published.
When this was noticed, we sought an early meeting with officials in DPER. When that did not result in any progress, we sought a meeting with the Minister.
The Minister was clear that, however this difficulty had arisen, he was not in a position to rectify it in 2018, in any circumstances.
The officers pointed out that full restoration of the 5% in 2019 at some point around half way through the agreement would have the same impact as spreading the restoration over the agreement, as we had believed would occur and, as a result, we pressed for a possible 2019 solution.
The Minister acknowledged the unique nature of the problem that had arisen and suggested that the procedures under the agreement be utilised to have the matter discussed further, while being clear that there was no scope to deal with the matter in 2018.
Affiliates need to be aware, therefore, that the restoration to basic pay in 2018 will not be applied to allowances in 2018 and that further discussions will be required regarding the timing of such restoration.
Yes. The PSEU represents all members who are in the AO, HEO and EO grades regardless of how long they have been in the Civil Service.
No. We have already written to the Government to state that if it seems that the economic outlook has improved beyond what was envisaged at the time of the talks, we reserve the right to seek to renegotiate the Agreement. Indeed, it was this principle that we used to open up the current talks rather than wait until the end of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
The 3 unions involved in the New Union Project agreed in advance of the discussions to work together in the process. This has not always been so in the past. In particular, there was significant and unhelpful division in the Haddington Road Agreement discussions. IMPACT, being the largest union in the Public Service, gave their support to the attempts by CPSU and ourselves to make progress on the issue of working time. This is a big issue for CPSU and ourselves but there was no disposition on the part of the employer to do anything at all about it until IMPACT made clear that they too had expectations of progress.
Likewise on the issue of annual leave, this union had an arbitration finding that the employer wished to ignore. IMPACT assisted in our efforts to have it implemented and we were able to assist our CPSU colleagues in having the same terms applied to their members.
In both instances, the mutual assistance went beyond vague the sort of vague support that colleagues offer each other. Because we are in a process of discussions together, we acted as one on issues of importance and the outcome reflects this.
Yes. The votes of each union are cast at a special meeting of the ICTU Public Services Committee of which the PSEU is a constituent. Each union is free to accept the outcome of this overall vote or not. Our ASTI colleagues chose not to accept the vote in respect of the existing Agreement until members demanded a special delegate conference at which they changed the Union’s position.
There is a Pension Levy adjustment on this date that will see all who pay the pension levy benefit by an annualised amount of roughly €325. However, those who earn less than €30,000 would have received no financial benefit on that date as they would already be out of the pension levy. Therefore, the increase for people earning up to €30,000 is to ensure that they too get an increase on that date.
No. All points on your salary scale will increase
Currently, the Pension Levy is applied to all payments – regardless of whether the payment is pensionable or not. For example, certain allowances, overtime, etc, are not pensionable payments – but are still factored in for the Pension Levy. Should the Agreement be ratified, this will no longer be the case.
It is intended to treat the new additional pension contribution in the same manner as the Pension Levy is currently treated for tax purposes.
The Grace Period will not be renewed. It will no longer be need as people will now retire on restored pay rates.