asked the Minister for Finance if he will state in respect of the review body which he has stated he is setting up on salaries (a) when this body will be set up and who will constitute it, and (b) if it will initiate reviews on salaries or if he will indicate to the body the group or groups whose salaries are to be reviewed.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Salary Reviews.
Consultations with the staff organisations concerned are in progress and a further announcement will be made as soon as possible.
It is intended that the body will advise on the general level of remuneration of
(a) civil servants and local authority officers outside the scope of conciliation and arbitration schemes, and
(b) chief executives of State-sponsored bodies.
In addition, the Government have decided, as an exceptional measure, to ask the body to advise them on the implications of recent findings of the Local Authority Officers' Arbitration Board on which a decision has not yet been taken.
Would the Minister tell the House whether a group wishing to have their salaries reviewed could apply to this body to have them reviewed, whether they have to take the initiative or must it be taken by the Government in all cases?
The idea is that this body will fix its own procedure but it is also the intention that it will review and advise only in relation to these limited classes I have mentioned— civil servants and local authority officers outside the normal scope of conciliation and arbitration, and the chief executives of State companies. I would not like to say how the new body will decide to operate as it is being left free to fix its own procedure. I would imagine that anybody in these two classes would be free to go to the body.
Would the Minister agree that confidence has been completely undermined in conciliation and arbitration because an arbitrator's award, made before this body was set up, has been held up and is to be reviewed? That is the case of the Local Government engineers?
I have already indicated that the decision to postpone a decision on this award was an exceptional measure and the decision to refer this award, with a view to getting advice on its implications, to the new body was also an exceptional measure and not the sort of thing we would normally do.