Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (65)

Martin Heydon


65. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the ongoing review of technical pay within the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53031/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Arising from the first report of the Commission in 2017 and the subsequent Public Service Stability Agreement, the Government tasked the Public Service Pay Commission to undertake a comprehensive examination and analysis of recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces.

The Report of the Public Service Pay Commission on Recruitment and Retention in the Defence Forces was accepted by Government on 4 July 2019. In accepting the report the Government also approved a plan, Strengthening Our Defence Forces – Phase 1, to implement the recommendations in the report.

A review of technical pay was provided for in the Public Service Agreement 2010 - 2014 (Croke Park Agreement). The purpose of the review in the context of the agreement was to rationalise existing technical pay arrangements and consider if the requirements could be met in a more cost effective manner.

A review of Technical Pay Group 1 was conducted in 2014 and came into effect on 12 January 2015. Military Management completed an initial review of Technical Pay Groups 2 - 6, which was presented to the Department in March 2017. Further work on this Report was required.

The Public Service Pay Commission recommended that the review of Technical Pay Groups 2 - 6, be completed at the earliest opportunity, without compromising the Public Service Stability Agreement. The Commission recommended that the review would include consideration of the earlier military management proposals.

The primary focus of the recommendations in the report of the Pay Commission relating to technical pay was substantially different to the focus of the original review. The altered focus of the review has resulted in a requirement for a slight extension to completing the project to allow for further analysis. While every effort has been made to carry out the review within the timeframes set out in the high level implementation plan, this extension to the deadline is warranted to ensure that the review is as comprehensive as possible.

An initial report focusing on three priority areas has been completed and is under consideration. Work on further aspects of the review is ongoing, as provided for in the plan.