Circular 2/18 (DFE100-002-2017)
An outline of concerns expressed at recent RMATUI Management Committee Meeting, September 2019
Answers provided here are based on available information and have not been provided by, or verified by, any Trade Union Official or by DPER. The author takes no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies that may be contained in the answers
1. “Pay Parity”.
Is it true that this link has now been broken and has not been re-established?
- The Govt side claim the link was broken in 2010, but it is an integral part of the PSSA ’18 – ’20. The Alliance (and the Trades’ Unions) want it enshrined in all future agreements on Pay and Pensions. The breach was imposed by Government.
2. There is an issue with the separation of allowances from core pay for the purposes of pension calculations. This was spelled out in CL2/18. I am wondering if you could summarise the principal issues and who it affects.
- Allowances were cut by 5%, separately from pay, in 2011. Their phased restoration -1%, 1% and 1.75% led to issues with the restoration of allowances to those retired already, in that ETBs had never been required to supply a breakdown of the pension calculations to the PSSC, and now claim a lack of personnel resources to supply it.
- It would appear that the justification for separating Allowances from Pay was purely a cost saving exercise. However, in some professions – nursing for example, there are different pay scales – Staff nurse, ACNO, CNO etc, in the Civil Service, likewise there are different pay scales for Clerical Officers, Executive Officers, Administrative Officers etc. In other professions – teaching being one, no such scales exist. There is just one – the Common Basic Scale. A person who gets promotion is rewarded by way of a fully pensionable allowance on top of the basic pay scale. It is therefore absolutely wrong, and unjust to deny an increase on the allowance part of their pay or pension.
- The issue of ‘rent allowance’ is specific to Gardai. It has been subsumed into pay for serving members, but their pensioned colleagues have not had it applied pro-rata.
- In other careers, Premium Payments (Saturday/Sunday work for example) make up to 25% of total pay. These payments have also been excluded from increases.
3. Will all pensions be fully restored in 2020?
- In January 2020, pensions up to €54,000 will be restored fully (No more PSPR). However, a small number of public Servants and others will not benefit. The final dates for Pay Restoration have been set, but not for Pension Restoration. Natural Justice should mean that dates for final Pension Restoration should be set also. It would not cost anything to set that date now.
4. What about increases due this year (2019)?
- Most of these increases (page 3 of CL 2/18) have been delayed, for example, at April 30th, only 1% of those due the January 1st 2019 increase, had been paid, and less than 50% of the 2018 increases had been paid. I have not met anyone whose 1.75% due on September 1st 2019 has been paid.
6. Are there other issues with CL 2/18?
- Page 1 refers to ‘Basic Pay’, and page 2 refers to ‘Total Remuneration’ and ‘Pensionable Remuneration’. From our perspective (RMATUI), the only term that is meaningful is ‘total remuneration’ which also equalled ‘pensionable remuneration’.
- Should this separation of allowances from pay for either pay increases or pension increases in the future, it would be extremely serious for the teaching profession. It would most likely result in zero applications for middle management posts – AP1, AP2, Deputy Principal or School Principal.
- To date, no explanation has been provided to explain why PSPR restoration due January 1st 2019 was delayed until Mid-June. Can we assume that PSPR restoration due on January 1st 2020 will be paid on time?
- It has become evident, that in the application of increases to pay/pensions, that in the case of beneficiaries of the ‘Spouses and Dependants’ pension, that increases are only applied on the basis of the original salary, i.e: If the earner had a salary of €40k, his/her pension would be €20k, and the subsequent spouse would get €10k, and would not get an increase paid to those with salaries under €30k. This interpretation ignores the fact that there was a separate contribution of 1.5% for the pension and the increases should be applied on that basis.