Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (349)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

349. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he anticipates and supports the concept of a new pay agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27268/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The current public service pay agreement - the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 is due to expire on the 31st December.  The Programme for Government, contains a commitment to seek to negotiate a new agreement with the public service unions. 

As the Deputy may be aware, I have instructed my officials to engage in exploratory talks with public services committee of ICTU to see if there is a basis for a successor agreement to the Public Service Stability Agreement to ensure pay stability, industrial peace and the delivery of quality public services.

To date there has been constructive engagement between the public service management and the Public Services Committee of ICTU as part of exploratory discussions.  

A new collective agreement could play an important role in underpinning economic recovery, avoiding industrial unrest and supporting the delivery of quality public services at a critical time. However, any such agreement would need to reflect the broader economic context and the current fiscal position where significant challenges are emerging.

The present system of collective agreements has been in place in the public service since the Croke Park Agreement was negotiated in 2010.  

These collective agreements have helped to ensure that public pay is managed in a sustainable, affordable and orderly manner.  These agreements have also enabled ongoing reform of public services and changes to work practices.