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Median pay now at €593 a week – 50% above and below

Posted on November 19, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

Half of employees in Ireland were earning over €592.60 a week in 2018 according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) using Revenue Commissioners’ data. This median or ‘middle’ figures compares with mean average weekly earnings of €740.63. So half (50%) of all employees were earning less than €593 due to working fewer hours or being employed in low-pay sectors like hospitality and retail.

CSO satistician Morgan O’Donnell said: “After a period of relatively stable earnings from 2011-2015, there have been steady increases in earnings in each of the last three years. Median weekly earnings increased by 1.7%, 2.8% and 2.9% in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.”

Looking at average earnings by county, Dublin, had the highest median weekly earnings in 2018, at €645.78. This was 9.0% higher than the average for the State and 36.5% higher than the median weekly earnings for Donegal which was the lowest earning county, at €473.12.

The CSO data also shows the distribution of earnings. In 2018, over one-quarter (28.7%) of all workers earned less than €400 per week. Jobs earning between €400 and €800 per week accounted for 39.4% of all employments. Almost a third (31.9%) of all employments earned more than €800 per week, while 6.5% of employments earned €1,600 or more per week (over €83,000 a year).

Much of the disparity is reflected in that one-quarter (23%) of information and communications employees earned more than €1,600 a week. Over two-thirds of hospitality workers (68%) eared below €400 a week but they worked fewer hours on average. This is who hourly rates of pay often provide a more accurate comparison of real earnings.

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.