INTO to ballot on pay deal without recommendation

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said a new

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said a new

Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 00:00

The union representing national teachers, the INTO, is to put the proposed new Croke Park agreement to a ballot of its 32,000 members without a recommendation.

In a statement it said that having considered all related issues at two lengthy meetings this week, the union leadership took the view that the outcome was the best available through negotiation.

"The executive recognised the significant potential gains for newly qualified teachers who have already had pay cuts imposed over the last two years. However, all teachers are affected by the draft proposals which include changes to increments, the loss of supervision allowance, and the financial impact for teachers earning over €65,000."

"The executive welcomed clarification received by the INTO on an extension to 31 August 2014 of the date by which public servants can retire and have pension and lump sum calculated on the current pay rates."

The union said that in all of the circumstances, its executive had decided to put the proposals for a new agreement which were drawn up by the Labour Relations Commission to members for decision by ballot without recommendation.

It said information meetings would be held and the details of the proposals would be sent to all members to help them to make a decision.

Separately, the Government has confirmed that staff in the public service who retire by August of 2014 will have their pensions and retirement lump sums based on their current salaries and that they will not be affected by cuts in pay under the proposed new Croke Park agreement.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said this morning that a new "grace period" would be put in place in relation to pensions to facilitate planning for the departure of staff in an orderly fashion.

However there will be reductions in pension payments for both staff who retired before the end of February 2012 and those who retired since then and those who will retire up until the end of August 2014.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said staff who left before the end of February 2012 had had their pensions reduced by around 4 per cent as a result of the imposition of the public service pension reduction (PSPR). This PSPR is to be increased although the rate of the rise is not yet known. The department said this will see the pension payment fall by between 2 and 5 per cent.

For staff who retired after March 1st and who are on pensions of more than €32,500 a new rate of PSPR will be applied. This will also reduce the pension payment. However the department said that the retirement lump sum will not be affected.

Details of the new grace period in relation to pensions was given last night by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to the INTO.

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