Public sector workers set for pay restoration with new deal

An agreement was brokered late last night at the Workplace Relations Commissions

Almost a quarter of a million public sector workers could find out details of a new pay deal today.

Talks continued late into the night at the Workplace Relations Commission between the Government and public service unions in an effort to reach a successor to the old Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Discussions yesterday are believed to have centred on pay, pensions and the possibility of Saturday working hours.

An estimated 250,000 public servants currently on the standard pension scheme will receive increases of between 6.2% and 6.74% over three years up to 2020.

A further 50,000 people, appointed since 2003, will receive increases of 7% and 10%.

Those who have so-called 'fast-accruing pensions', such as gardaí, military personnel and judges, will benefit the least from the draft agreement. 

Pay improvements will be made up of both pay rises and pensions contributions.

"Everybody will gain from this, but some will gain to a greater degree than others," Industrial Correspondent for The Irish Times Martin Wall told Newstalk Breakfast.

For those earning €30,000 or less, pay and pension adjustments are worth 7.4% over the lifetime of the three-year deal.

Those earning between €50,000 and €55,000 will have increases worth 7%, while workers earning between €55,000 and €80,000 will earn between 6.6% and 6.9% more by 2020.

These increases will be made on an incremental basis, with the first increase of 1% set to take effect from 1 January 2018.

Union reaction

Bernard Harbour, Head of Communications at the union IMPACT, outlined the evening's proceedings.

"What we have now is a set of proposals which IMPACT and other unions will be taking back to members," he said.

"We set out, with the objective, to protect the value of pensions, and we were also very keen to retain protections around outsourcing that have been in place for a number of years. We think we've achieved a lot under all those headings.

Harbour said the unions were slightly less successful when it came to working time and issues experienced by new entrants. However, he added that there is something in the package for them.