Pay to be restored for up to 60,000 public sector workers

Teachers, nurses, gardaí hired since 2011 to benefit by average of about €3,300

Teachers from the INTO, ASTI and TUI protesting in March in advance of a Government report on pay equalisation. Photograph: Alan Betson

Teachers from the INTO, ASTI and TUI protesting in March in advance of a Government report on pay equalisation. Photograph: Alan Betson

a
 

Up to 60,000 teachers, nurses, gardaí and public sector workers hired since 2011 look set to receive pay increases under a deal aimed at abolishing controversial “two-tier” pay rates.

The deal, likely to be announced early next week, would be worth an average of about €3,300 for those hired following the introduction of austerity-era pay cuts.

Under the terms of the deal, State employees hired over the past seven years would “jump” one point on their incremental pay scale next year and a further point in 2020.

The Government has previously estimated that the cost of ending the two-tier pay system across the public sector would be about €200 million, though this would be phased in over a two-year period.

Unions and Government representatives are scheduled to meet to conclude a deal on Monday.

Talks continued yesterday over the details of a deal, such as what point of the salary scale these incremental “jumps” would occur or at what point of the year they should come into effect.

Once the details of a final deal are circulated, unions will be begin to organise executive meetings. It is likely that ballots of union members will be held within a month or so of these meetings.

Back-pay issue

It is unclear, however, whether the move towards pay restoration will end the “two-tier” pay gap in all cases.

Teacher unions, for example, argue that allowances for degrees – worth up to €1,500 a year – should also be restored, while some unions also argue that those hired since 2011 should be entitled to back-pay.

The teaching profession is most affected by the two-tier pay issue due to the large-scale recruitment that took place over recent years to cope with Ireland’s growing population.

All three teacher unions have warned of potential strike action if a pathway to end the two-tier pay gap is not agreed by this autumn, and have demanded money be set aside in the forthcoming budget.

They also argue that lower pay rates have posed a real threat to the education system, with many teachers opting to work abroad instead.

a