An Post and the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) have both welcomed a recommendation by the Labour Court that provides for a total increase to pensionable pay and pensions at the company of just over 10 per cent.
In addition, almost all shift and other allowances are to be restored to 100 per cent pensionable as a result of a turnaround in the company’s pension scheme which had been the subject of an extensive cost-cutting agreement in 2013 when it was heavily in deficit.
The deal, which took a year to reach, results from a review of a previous pay agreement between the two sides for the period and provides for an additional 5 per cent increase backdated to January 1st, 2022.
In total, staff will now receive a cumulative 10.23 per cent in three stages with another 2 per cent taking effect from January 1st this year and a final 1 per cent falling due on July 1st.
The increases will benefit some 9,000 staff at the company as well as about 7,000 pensioners.
After a meeting of the CWU’s executive council approved the deal, the union’s general secretary, Seán McDonagh, said that reducing the gap between pensionable and actual pay at the company had, along with the delivery of “a meaningful increase” for An Post pensioners, been a key objective for the group of unions which also included Fórsa and the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants.
“An Post workers supported restrictions on increases in pensionable pay in the 2013 pension accord which was designed to protect the pension scheme at a time when it was in deficit and could not meet its regulatory obligations. However, the scheme has recovered and the most recently completed actuarial valuation report for the three years up to 1st January 2022 shows a surplus of around €503 million.”
The lifting of a cap on allowances for pension purposes, would, he said, “have a significant impact on pensionable pay and pensions, particularly for lower-paid workers” at the company.
In a statement An Post said it also welcomed the Labour Court recommendation in relation to the treatment of the €503.3 million surplus on the company’s superannuation scheme.
It noted that the agreement is subject to ministerial approval but An Post chief executive David McRedmond said: “We are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement that provides a positive outcome for our employees and all members of the pension scheme.”