Written Answers. - Public Service Pay.

Mary Harney

Question:

45 Miss Harney asked the Minister for Finance the progress, if any, he has made regarding a new system of pay arbitration for the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17881/95]

In order to address the issue of rising public service pay costs, the Government decided to review the whole system of public service pay determination, to make the system more transparent and to include assessment criteria which strike a balance between the needs of staff, the Government and taxpayers alike. The first step in implementing this new pay determination process was taken last year when a revised scheme of conciliation and arbitration for the Civil Service was introduced. The new features of the scheme include a three-person arbitration board and the introduction of agreed criteria, including the state of the public finances, to be taken into account at all stages of the process. There are new measures to ensure peaceful resolution of disputes and limitations on industrial action in the case of senior staff, those with personnel-management responsibilities and those involved in essential services. The amended scheme for the Civil Service provides a model for the negotiations in other areas of the public service. Negotiations are still in progress in the wider public service, and it is expected that revised systems of pay determination will be finalised in the coming months.

The Government recently appointed the new arbitration board under the conciliation and arbitration scheme for the Civil Service.
Chairperson: Mr. Gerard Durcan, SC.
Other members: Mr. Kevin Duffy, assistant general secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (nominated by the panel of staff representatives under the scheme).
Mr. Derek Hunter, chief executive officer, Local Government Staff Negotiations Board (Government's nominee).
The Government has also appointed Mr. Gerry Kelly, BL, to be adjudicator under the scheme.
The appointments are for the period up to 30 June 1997.