Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Army Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme.

Peadar Clohessy

Ceist:

8 Mr. Clohessy asked the Minister for the Defence if he has satisfied himself with the workings of the conciliation and arbitration scheme available to PDFORRA and RACO which was introduced over a year ago; and the matters, if any, that have been brought to arbitration.

The conciliation and arbitration scheme for the Permanent Defence Force was established in March 1993. Conciliation council meetings have been held on a regular basis since then and claims from the Permanent Defence Force representative associations are being processed normally. In addition consultation with the associations on issues which come within their scope of representation is effected in a satisfactory manner. No claims have, as yet, been brought to arbitration.

I understand a pay claim put to arbitration some time ago was turned down by the Government. The Army cannot go on strike and it would be a serious matter if such an event occurred.

The conciliation and arbitration scheme provides that meetings of the conciliation council will normally be held once in every two month period but it has been the practice to meet more frequently. There have been 13 meetings of the conciliation council since March 1993; RACO participated in eight and PDFORRA participated in five. PDFORRA presented 45 claims and 70 have been presented by RACO. Prior to the establishment in 1993 of the conciliation and arbitration scheme, 18 agreed reports were signed. The associations are consulted on matters which come within the scope of their representation which is determined by Defence Force regulations. For example, RACO is regularly consulted on promotion and competition policy while PDFORRA was consulted on the recent recruitment drive.

Did the Government turn down the pay claim?

The pay claim was not turned down by the Government.