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    Public service may do local pay deals

    Posted on November 12, 2019 by Miriam Ahern

    The next public-service pay agreement in 2020 may include some element of local pay bargaining  rather than simply involving an across-the-board arrangement.

    A confidential memo to Cabinet in mid-October from  Minister for Public Expenditure,  Paschal Donohoe said preliminary talks with public-service trade unions about a successor to the current agreement had looked at a process involving a local bargaining component.

    According to  a report in The Irish Times, it is understood that the minister maintained that a one-size-fits-all approach – the format for all of the public-service agreements since the Croke Park pay-cuts agreement in 2010  – may not be backed by all on the trade union side. Traditionally all teachers, nurses, engineers, gardai, doctors and other public servants have common pay-scales throughout the state.

    The current public-service agreement is scheduled to expire at the end of 2020 and full-scale talks on a successor deal would have to commence by  April or May 2020 to allow for public service trades unions to ballot their members on the terms.

    Pressures in the health sector, such as the nurses strikes earlier in 2019, and different regional housing costs are driving calls for differentiated pay scales.