I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 28 together.
A review of technical pay was provided for in the Public Service Agreement 2010 - 2014 (Croke Park Agreement). The Agreement provided for a review to be undertaken of the current grading of appointments and/or classes of appointments for enlisted personnel, including consideration of whether current requirements merit tech pay, are at the appropriate rate of tech pay (including whether a higher or lower rate of tech pay should be paid), or can be met in a more cost effective way.
The purpose of the review in the context of the agreement was to rationalise existing technical pay arrangements and consider if the requirements could be met in a more cost effective manner. A review of Technical Pay Group 1 was conducted in 2014 and came into effect on 12 January 2015.
While a review of Technical Pay grades 2 - 6 in the Defence Forces was in progress, the Public Service Pay Commission made recommendations relating to the review which were substantially different to the focus of the original review.
The Public Service Pay Commission recommended that the review of Technical Pay Groups 2 - 6, be completed at the earliest opportunity, without compromising the Public Service Stability Agreement. The Commission recommended that the review would include consideration of the earlier military management proposals.
On foot of the recommendations from the Public Service Pay Commission, a joint civil/military project team in the Department of Defence compiled two reports examining technical pay grades 2-6 across the Defence Forces, within the timeframe set in the High Level Implementation Plan.
The implementation of the recommendations in these reports will be considered in the negotiations on the next public service pay agreement. This will ensure that implementation of the recommendations will comply with the provisions of the FEMPI Acts and will not compromise the stability of the Public Service Stability Agreement.