Higher civil servants want pay link with politicians ended

Pay 30 per cent behind private sector counterparts, says union

Senior civil servants claim that in some cases they are earning up to 30 percent less than managerial counterparts in the private sector. Photograph: Alan Betson

Senior civil servants are seeking to break the link between their pay and that of politicians.

They also maintain they are earning in some cases up to 30 per cent less than their managerial counterparts in the private sector.

At present, pay rates for politicians are pegged at the level of Civil Service principal officer.

However, the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, which represents about 3,000 senior staff and managers in the Civil Service, has called for reforms to be introduced.


Ahead of its annual conference in Dublin today the association urged the establishment of an independent pay determination mechanism to address what is described as “the growing discrepancy between public and private sector pay”.

Higher civil servants, like many other groups of employees across the public service, are seeking an accelerated timescale for the restoration of cuts to pay introduced over recent years.

The association said the link between public sector pay and politicians must be broken.

The association said the proposed new public service pay commission envisaged as part of the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil agreement, "must be robust, inclusive and independent in nature in order to be successful".

The general secretary of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, Ciarán Rohan, said: “The fact that publicsector pay has emerged as a core principle for government in the agreement is to be welcomed, but we need more information before we can say whether it’s going far enough.

“It’s all very well examining pay levels across the public service, but what we need is a robust, inclusive and independent process that will ensure that public sector pay is properly equated with equivalent private sector roles.

“Consultation will be critical to the success of any process.”

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent