RMA Review Public Service Agreement 2024-2026 


A new public service pay agreement called ‘Public Service Agreement 2024-2026’ has been negotiated between the Government and the ICTU public services committee. It has now been put out to a ballot of union members. The balloting period will run until March 25th, to allow time for all unions to consider the terms of the new agreement.

The negotiators secured a commitment that the current pension increase policy, of maintaining parity between the pay of serving staff and pensions, will be extended for the duration of the new pay agreement. This means, if the agreement is ratified by the unions, that pension payments will be adjusted in line with pay adjustments for serving staff (pre 2013 schemes).

While Ireland is not the only country suffering from inflation, the country was named the most expensive in the EU for goods and services in June 2023. The historic benefit of the pay/pension parity link is being eroded because the pay increases in recent pay agreements are less than inflation.

●      The last pay agreement, Building Momentum, increased pay by 8.5% (excluding sectoral bargaining). However, during the same period inflation increased by 19.4% (Central Statistics Office data).

●      The proposed new public sector pay agreement, also, contains pay adjustments below the rate of inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 4.6% between December 2022 and December 2023.

The decreasing buying power of both pay and pensions is leading to a cost-of-living crisis for public sector workers and retired public sector workers.

The RMA Management Committee has grave concerns at the inclusion of the 1% local bargaining clause in the proposed new pay agreement and 2% in the next (yet to be negotiated) agreement. Motion 210, TUI 2023 Annual Congress “instructs the Executive to demand that the Public Services Committee of the ICTU actively oppose and reject clauses in any future pay agreement that weakens the pay/pension parity link”. It is vital that the TUI and all unions affiliated to the Public Services Committee of the ICTU demand and insist that “the current pension increase policy, of maintaining parity between the pay of staff and pensions” will apply to all pay increases. The inclusion of these “local bargaining arrangements” in the current and possible subsequent pay agreements is worrying. They represent a very dangerous precedent and could have a detrimental impact on the future value of public service pensions and the pay/pension parity link.

The Retired Members’ Association is vigilant on this and will keep the pressure on the TUI Executive to ensure that they honour Congress motions and actively maintain the future value of public service pensions. This is a concern, not only for retired member, but for serving TUI members as it will influence their pensions and their quality of life in retirement.

The Building Momentum pay agreement established a sectoral bargaining fund. In the post-primary teaching sector, the ASTI and TUI decided to use some of fund to increase the salary scales of new entrant teachers. There is a residue of approximately 0.4% left unspent. If this is used as a general pay increase for post primary teachers, it will also apply to retired teachers’ pensions. Third level retirees received a 1% increase in their pensions from February 1st 2023. Any delay in the unions/Department of Education coming to a decision on how to use the post-primary surplus has the potential to cause difficulties in applying the pay adjustments to salaries and pensions since February 1st 2022.

RMATUI Management Committee