Thursday, 13 June 2019

Ceisteanna (4)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

4. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the pay disparity between members of the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána during the recent visit by President Donald Trump; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24581/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Jobs differ greatly across the public service and it can be difficult to make direct comparisons between different sectors across the full range of duties. Members of the Defence Forces and an Garda Síochána fulfil different roles and have different terms and conditions of service and pay structures. The vast majority of military personnel and Gardaí are engaged in duties on a day-today basis which are quite dissimilar.

Defence Forces pay and allowances are set, amongst other things, by reference and in consideration of relative levels of pay across a broad range of duties and roles across various sectors of the Irish public sector.

In addition to basic pay, the Defence Forces have a wide range of allowances which are unique to their duties. A weekly Military Service Allowance is paid to all ranks up to the level of Colonel. Military Service Allowance is designed to compensate for the special disadvantages associated with military life. This includes unsocial hours of duty, exposure to danger, and the restrictions inherent in military discipline. For Privates, Corporals and Sergeants with more 3 years in service, MSA is worth more than €6,023 per annum per person. For Senior NCOs the rate is €6,411 per annum, per person.

A range of duties attract additional allowances. Certain positions also attract technical pay for enlisted personnel or additional rates for officers.

Security Duty Allowance is payable to all ranks up to Commandant for certain duties of a security nature performed. This includes duties assisting an Garda Síochána in Aid to the Civil Power.

In accordance with the Public Service Stability Agreement, 2013-2016, (the Haddington Road Agreement), all sectors across the public service were required to contribute to additional pay and productivity measures. Other sectors delivered these savings through a variety of approaches including additional working time and reduced rates of overtime payments.

The contribution from the Defence sector included a reduction of 10% on the rate of certain allowances payable to the Defence Forces including Security Duty Allowance. It was also agreed with the Representative Associations that the Saturday and Sunday rates for Security Duty Allowance would be flat rated.

The Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations have made claims for the restoration of the premium rates, which is being processed through the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) Scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. As discussions under the C&A scheme are confidential to the parties involved it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this time.

The Public Service Pay Commission has conducted a comprehensive examination and analysis of underlying difficulties of recruitment and retention in the Defence Sector. The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform is expected to bring the report prepared by the Commission to Government shortly. The Government will give due consideration to the findings and recommendations in the report.

Questions Nos. 5 to 10, inclusive, answered orally.