Restoring public service pay rates would cost €209m, says Donohoe

Minister insists pay differential not having impact on recruitment

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: insisted the Government was successful in attracting graduates  to nearly all aspects of the public service. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: insisted the Government was successful in attracting graduates to nearly all aspects of the public service. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Restoring a single-tier pay structure in the public service would cost more than €209 million, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil.

He said this would exclude any cost in respect of a retrospective payment to people who entered the public service on lesser terms than those hired before the economic crash.

“We have come to this figure on the basis of a cost in education of €70 million, using that figure then to work out what the consequences would be in other departments,’’ he added.

He said it was a huge amount of money from the point of view of pay, and the Government would do what it could to address many matters in the context of the ongoing discussions on a new public sector pay deal.

Solidarity-PBP TD Richard Boyd Barrett estimated that teachers, Leinster House ushers and other public sector workers who joined after 2011 would, over the course of their lifetime, earn about €100,000 less than those employed before that year who were on the old pay scale.

“That is totally unacceptable for people doing the same job,’’ he added.

Incremental scales

Mr Donohoe said the difference in incremental salary scales between those who entered the public service before and after 2011 was addressed with the relevant union interests under the Haddington Road Agreement.

The Minister insisted the Government was successful in attracting very good graduates and new starters to nearly all aspects of the public service.

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary said when two gardaí were sent out on the streets, one was on one pay rate and the other on another one. “They are both putting their lives in danger for us,’’ he added.

Mr Calleary said Ireland was haemorrhaging nursing graduates and the Health Service Executive was regularly sending missions to India to recruit staff.

Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane said he believed it was reasonable and fair that the “sore’’, which had been at the heart of many disputes in classrooms, hospitals and Garda stations, was dealt with once and for all.