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 since been established are RACO (for commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (for enlisted personnel).
The scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) for members of the Permanent Defence Force provides a formal mechanism for the determination of claims and proposals from the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations relating to remuneration and conditions of service.
Officials from my Department continue to work with the Representative Associations in a positive and collaborative process within the C&A Scheme to resolve issues. There is also ongoing engagement on a regular basis between the Official side and the Representative side on a range of items which are processed through C&A.
Since my appointment as Minister with responsibility for Defence, I have met with representatives from RACO and PDFORRA on a number of occasions, both formally and informally.
In 2016, I met both RACO and PDFORRA in July. I attended the PDFORRA Annual Delegate Conference in October and the RACO Annual Banquet in November.
In 2017, I met had meetings with RACO and PDFORRA in July and October. I attended the PDFORRA Annual Delegate Conference in October and the RACO Biennial Delegate Conference in November.
In 2018, I met with officials from PDFORRA in September and just last week I attended the PDFORRA Annual Delegate Conference which took place in Breaffy House Hotel in Co. Mayo. I am also scheduled to attend the RACO Annual Delegate Conference next month.