Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (199)

Richard Bruton

Question:

315 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if workers in the postal service have been included within the framework of benchmarking awards, and if not, the reasons those in the postal service who retained their civil service status at the time of transfer to An Post, are not entitled to be included within the benchmarking framework; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1467/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

The benchmarking body was established under the terms of the PPF to undertake a fundamental examination of public service pay and jobsvis-a-vis the private sector. The awards recommended by the body applied to the public service grades examined and to those agreed grades which had a corresponding link.

As a commercial State company, An Post is not comprehended within the terms of the benchmarking process and consequently its staff is not entitled to benefit from the awards recommended by the body. The Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1983 states that conditions applying to staff would be no less favourable than those which applied prior to their transfer. This was to ensure there was no worsening of conditions for existing staff due to the transfer. However, it did not confer Civil Service status in perpetuity to all An Post staff.

As a commercial State company pay and conditions are set by agreement between management and unions as happens in other commercial enterprises. There have been a number of collective agreements since 1983. The application of pay increases in commercial State companies is primarily a matter for the company itself and I have no function in this matter.