TDs and public servants to have pay cuts reversed

Bill aims to restore emergency legislation cuts for most State staff by July 2021

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  will not benefit from the unwinding of pay cuts provided under the Bill for other public servants by 2022. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: will not benefit from the unwinding of pay cuts provided under the Bill for other public servants by 2022. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Pay cuts imposed on TDs and most other staff working in the public service under financial emergency legislation will be reversed by July 2021, as part of a new Bill published by the Government.

However the State’s highest earners, staff with salaries of more than €150,000, will have to wait until July 2022 for pay levels to be restored.

The new legislation published on Thursday by the Department of Public Expenditure gives effect to pay rises for public service staff under the Lansdowne Road II deal negotiated with unions and associations in the summer.

Under this agreement all staff earning up to €70,000 will have pay cuts reversed by October 2020.

The pay of TDs is linked to that of principal officers in the Civil Service and is in a middle band of earners of between €70,000 and €150,000, who will have cuts reversed in full by July 2021.

The Department of Public Expenditure said on Thursday that if the new legislation was passed, the pay of TDs would increase from €89,965 at present to €93,599 in January 2018. There would be a further increase to €94,535 by October next year. Two further scheduled increases would bring TDs’ pay to €98,113 by October 2020.

Two categories

However, the department said net pay for most public servants would be reduced through the conversion of the existing pension levy, which was originally introduced as an emergency measure, into a permanent pension contribution.

The department said the Cabinet had decided this week that the Taoiseach, Government Ministers and the Attorney General would not benefit from the unwinding of pay cuts provided under the Bill for other public servants by 2022.

The new legislation creates two categories of public service employee – those covered by the new public service agreement and those who are not.

It allows the Government to apply penalties to those outside the agreement including a nine-month delay on the payment of increases and a freeze on increments until 2020.

It also requires public service groups to notify the Workplace Relations Commission that they will be bound by the terms of the agreement if they are to be considered covered by the accord. However, for affiliates of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, its public service committee can provide a collective notification.