Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (48, 100)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

48. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when organisations will be allowed to join and associate with a representative body (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31874/19]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

100. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the proposed timeframe for the affiliation of Defence Forces representative organisations with an organisation (details supplied); if he can guarantee that Defence Forces representative organisations will have a seat at the next round of public sector pay talks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34383/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 100 together.

The Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 and Defence Force Regulations S6 provided for the establishment of representative associations for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The associations that have been established are RACO (for commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (for enlisted personnel).

A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration for members of the Permanent Defence Force provides a formal mechanism for the Defence Forces representative associations to discuss a range of matters relating to the pay and allowances and conditions of service of their members.  An independent review of the C&A scheme was completed in 2018. A copy of the report of the review is available on the Department of Defence website.

The report of the review contains a number of recommendations aimed at improving the efficiency of the scheme.  All the parties to the Scheme, are in the process of developing a revised scheme implementing the recommendations in the report.

One of the recommendations in the Report is that the official side should, with the consent of the Minister, engage in discussions with the ICTU to explore the practicalities of a PDF representative association forming association/affiliation with the ICTU, while giving due consideration to any likely conflict that might arise between such an arrangement and the obligations of military service.

This matter is being progressed and there has been engagement between between the Department of Defence, military management and ICTU. Defence management (civil and military) have met the Representative Associations and will keep them informed of developments.

Public Service Pay policy comes within the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Paschal Donohoe. The manner in which future public service pay negotiations are to be conducted will be determined by the Minister.