Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (112)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

112. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a representative of his Department was sent to the WRC Conciliation Conference with staff from a union (details supplied) regarding staff claims on 20 April 2021; if he will send a representative to future WRC conferences given that HR has to defer to his Department for any decisions regarding pay and conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20150/21]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I am aware that SIPTU has been engaging with the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission in relation to the terms and conditions of its members who are political support staff of Oireachtas Members. The staff in question are employed in the Houses of the Oireachtas by individual TDs and Senators.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act, 2003 requires the Commission, in relation to secretarial facilities, to obtain my consent before reaching an agreement with any person in relation to rates of pay, conditions of employment or superannuation.

My officials met officials from the Commission to consider the issues in advance of the conciliation conference on 20th April 2021 at the WRC. In line with general practice in respect of WRC hearings/conciliation conferences where my Department is not the employer, my officials did not attend the WRC conciliation conferences in relation to this matter and it is not expected that they would attend in future. My officials will, however, continue to engage with officials from the Oireachtas as appropriate.