Labour Relations Commission Proposals for Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2018



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Labour Relations Commission
Proposals for

Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2018
[Haddington Road Agreement 2013 and Lansdowne Road Agreement 2015]

Frequently Asked Questions Revised June 2015

NOTE: These FAQs relate to the overarching provisions in the Lansdowne Road and Haddington Road Agreements. Queries in relation to the specific sectors, or to individual remuneration, should be directed to the relevant HR Section for that sector or to local management. Queries relating to the Lansdowne Road Agreement are addressed first.
Lansdowne Road Proposals - FAQs

The Lansdowne Road proposals apply to all public servants who are members of Grades accepting the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The changes are scheduled to take effect from 1st January 2016 unless otherwise specified. Please note:



  • Pay measures will require legislative amendments which are scheduled for later this year (subject to acceptance of the proposals);

  • Revised Pay Circulars will issue on the passing of the necessary amendments;

  • Queries in relation to individual pay changes should be addressed to local HR sections.


Q.1 Do the Haddington Road reform measures still apply under the new agreement?

The proposal by the LRC is for an extension of the Public Service Stability Agreement.to September 2018 under the title of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The productivity and reform measures provided for under the HRA and previous agreements continue to apply under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.



Q.2 What changes does the Lansdowne Road Agreement make to PRD?

The PRD is the ‘Pension Related Deduction’, or pension levy. The lower threshold for PRD is currently €15,000 – below this income level there is no liability for PRD. Income between €15,000 and €20,000 is currently liable to PRD at 2.5%. On 1 January 2016 the exemption threshold for payment of Pension Related Deduction (PRD) will increase from €15,000 per annum to €24,750 per annum and on 1 September it will increase further to €28,750.  This means for all public servants that remuneration below €28,750 will no longer be liable to PRD, while the increase in the threshold to €28,750 is worth €1,000 euro reduction in PRD to each public servant (who currently pays PRD in excess of this amount) on a full year basis with the low paid benefiting to a greater extent through the tax code.


For those on less than €28,750 the impact on each individual will vary depending on their total remuneration and their current liability for PRD.


Q.3 What changes does the Lansdowne Road Agreement make to Pay?

For the majority of public servants, in addition to the PRD benefits previously outlined, there is a significant reduction, weighted in favour of the lower paid, of the pay cuts imposed under the 2009 FEMPI legislation. These come in the form of increases in gross pay in 2016 for those on lower pay (up to €31,000) and in 2017 for all on pay up to €65,000.


For any public servant whose annualised salary is below €24,001 there will be an increase in gross pay of 2.5% from 1 January 2016. For those on annualised salaries between €24,001 and €31,000 there will be an increase in gross pay of 1% from 1 January 2016. For all those on annualised salaries up to €65,000 there will be an increase in gross pay of €1,000 from 1 September 2017.


Base Salary

January 2016

September 2017

Up to €24,000

2.5 per cent

€1,000

€24,001 to €31,000

1 per cent

€1,000

€31,001 to €65,000

No change

€1,000



Q.4 What will the combined impact of Pay and PRD changes be for those below €65,000?

The PRD measures under the Lansdowne Road Agreement will increase take home salary for all public servants earning in excess of €15,000. The pay measures under the Agreement will increase the gross pay for all public servants earning up to €65,000. This increase is weighted in favour of the lower paid, who receive a significantly higher percentage increase.


The effects of the pay and PRD measures by year for staff earning different rates are available on the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform website. http://www.per.gov.ie/statement-by-the-minister-for-public-expenditure-and-reform-brendan-howlin-t-d-on-the-outcome-of-discussions-between-the-government-and-the-public-service-unions/


Q.5 How are the pay cuts for those on higher pay being reversed under the Lansdowne Road Agreement?

The HRA, underpinned by the FEMPI 2013 Act, brought in pay cuts for public servants earning €65,000 and over. Under these proposals, for those public servants on annualised remuneration up to €110,000, restoration will be in two equal phases with the first phase due to take place in April 2017, and the second phase in January 2018.  For those on annualised remuneration in excess of €110,000 restoration will be in three equal phases with the first phase due to take place in April 2017 and the two remaining phases in April 2018 and 2019.


Under the Lansdowne Road proposals those earning €65,000 or over will, like other staff, benefit from the PRD measures.
Q.5A My basic pay is a pay scale that is less than €65,000 but I was subject to a pay cut under the FEMPI Act 13 as I was also in receipt of a fixed permanent and pensionable allowance. How will I be affected by the proposed pay measures?
You will receive restoration of your pay cut under the phased provisions provided for under the Lansdowne Road Agreement proposals and as your basic scale is less than €65,000 you will receive the €1000 increase provided for in September 2017.
Q.6 Are the reductions in overtime rates and allowances being reversed?

The measures provided for under the HRA in respect of overtime and allowances are retained.


Q.7 Will payments under the Supervision & Substitution Scheme be restored?

A gross additional payment equivalent to the 2011 lower payment rate paid for supervision and substitution will be included in the common basic scale for teachers, with half in the school year 2016/2017, and half in the school year 2017/2018.


Q.8 Will the increment and top of scale measures be continued?

The measures that provided for deferral of increments, and for the sacrifice of leave, etc. for those on the top of the scale, will continue in place as before for staff who were in service during the period from July 2013 to June 2016. That is, where a person has incurred a liability to e.g. defer an increment by three months then this will continue to apply even if the deferral actually occurs after June 2016. However, no new liability will arise in respect of these measures after the 1st July 2016.


Q.9 Will the pensions ‘Grace Period’ be extended to September 2018?

The ‘grace period’ within which public servants can retire under the terms and conditions which they held prior to the pay reductions under the FEMPI Act 2013 has been extended twice, and is currently due to expire at the end of June 2016. There is a commitment in the Lansdowne Road Agreement to provide for a ‘grace period’ consistent with the terms of the Agreement and legislation subject to approval by Government will be brought forward to give effect to this proposal.


Q.10 Are there any changes to the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR)?

In January 2011, as part of the response to the fiscal crisis then faced by the country, an emergency measure to reduce public service pensions (Public Service Pension Reduction- PSPR) in payment was introduced. A further reduction for higher value pensions was introduced in July 2013.

The proposals approved by Government provide for a restoration of pension income subjected to the Public Service Pension Reduction on a phased basis over three years as follows,


  • 1 January 2016 – return of €400 to most PSPR-impacted pensioners

  • 1 January 2017 – return of €500 to most PSPR-impacted pensioners

  • 1 January 2018 – return of €780 to most PSPR-impacted pensioners


Haddington Road Agreement – FAQs
The Haddington Road Agreement applies to all public servants who are members of Grades to which a collective agreement accepting the terms of the Agreement is in place. There are particular measures applying to specific sectors of the public service and details of these are found in the appendices in the Haddington Road Agreement for particular groups/grades.
The changes were scheduled to take effect from 1st July 2013 unless otherwise specified.

Further guidance on the pay matters covered in these FAQs is contained in Circular 8/2013: Revision of pay of Civil Servants and Circular 14/14 Overtime in the Civil Service.



http://circulars.gov.ie/pdf/circular/per/2013/08.pdf

http://circulars.gov.ie/pdf/circular/per/2014/14.pdf

PAY AND PRODUCTIVITY MEASURES
The productivity measures set out in the Haddington Road Agreement, have been secured in place by the Lansdowne Road Agreement. However, there are no further changes to individual terms and conditions under the new agreement.

Increase in Hours

Q.11 What is the increase to the standard working week?

The standard working hours of public servants will increase as follows:



  • Those with a working week of 35 hours or less (net of rest breaks) will increase to a minimum of a 37 hour week. The implementation of these additional hours for specific groups is subject to the arrangements set out in Appendix 9 in the overall document.




  • Those with a working week that is greater than 35 hours but less than 39 hours (net of rest breaks) will increase to a 39 hour week.




  • Working hours of those currently with a net working week of 39 hours or greater will remain the same. However, an hour of overtime worked each week for these grades will be unpaid until 31st March 2014.

The additional hours will be phased in with the first 2 hours 15 minutes implemented from 1st July 2013 and remaining liability will be implemented from 1st July 2015.


Details on the implementation of additional hours for certain grades are set out in Appendix 9 of the Agreement.
Q.12 How will the extra hours be used?

The extra hours will be used to best fit the business needs of public service employers. Broad principles of how they will be employed in each Sector are set out at in the proposals. The implementation of the extra hours will require consultation at workplace level.



Allowances
Fixed Periodic Pensionable Allowances under the FEMPI Act 2013

Allowances in the nature of pay are fixed periodic pensionable allowances. A fixed periodic pensionable allowance is an allowance of a fixed amount, which is taxable and pensionable, is not paid in respect of an expense incurred, and is not reliant on the type or amount of the work performed at for example, weekend or nights.  Some examples of a fixed periodic allowance would be a rent allowance or the allowance paid to Principals of Primary and Post-Primary schools.


Q.13 What are allowances in the nature of pay?

Allowances in the nature of pay are fixed periodic pensionable allowances, where a fixed periodic pensionable allowance is an allowance of a fixed amount, which is taxable and pensionable, is not paid in respect of an expense incurred, and is not reliant on the type or amount of the work performed at for example, weekend or nights.


Q.14 Is the Allowance Review affected by the proposed Agreement?

There will be full cooperation with follow up to the Government’s Allowances Review, taking account of the recommendations contained in Labour Court Recommendation 20448.



Overtime

There is no proposal in the Lansdowne Road Agreement to change the current rates payable for overtime.
Q.15 How is overtime affected for those earning up to €35,000?

For those on salaries up to €35,000 (including fixed periodic pensionable allowances), overtime will be paid at the rate of time and a half at the first point of the appropriate scale. This will not apply to any scale where the provision would result in overtime being paid at less than time at any point on the scale. In these cases, the formula for overtime at €35,000 or more will apply to that entire scale/grade.


Q.16 How is overtime affected for those earning €35,000 or more?

For those on salaries of €35,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay) or greater, overtime will be paid at the rate of time and a quarter at the individual’s scale point on the salary scale.


Q.17 How is overtime affected on a Saturday afternoon and Sunday?

Current arrangements will remain in place for payment for overtime worked on a Saturday afternoon and Sunday.


Q.18 How will the divisor for overtime be affected?

The divisors for the calculation of overtime will be adjusted to take account of any additional hours. Details on additional hours for certain grades are set out in Appendix 9 of the Agreement.


Q.19 How is overtime affected for those working 39 hours or more a week?

For those currently with a net working week of 39 hours or more, an hour of overtime worked each week will be unpaid until 31st March 2014.


Q.20 Will there be an increase in the hours required for a day off in lieu of overtime?

Where the standard working day is increased under the terms of the proposed Agreement, the hours required for a day off in lieu will also increase. For example in the Civil Service the hours required currently for a day off in lieu are 6 hours 57 minutes, this will increase in line with the hours set out in the proposals (7 hours 24 minutes).


Q.21 My working hours have been increased to 35 hours per week. How will my overtime payments be affected?

From 1 July 2013 the divisor for overtime calculations for those will be based on 37 hours and overtime will not be payable until 37 hours are worked and exceeded. The 36th and 37th hour will be required to be worked for free.



Premia

Q.22 Will twilight payments continue?

Twilight payments and any equivalent payments across the sectors will no longer be payable, save where sectoral collective agreements provide otherwise.


Q.23 Will the Sunday premium remain for those who continue to work Sundays?

Yes the Sunday premium will remain however management will actively seek to reduce the overall numbers of staff rostered to work on Sundays in the health service.



Increments and related balancing measures

Measures under the Haddington Road Agreement that provided for deferral of increments, and for the sacrifice of leave, etc. for those on the top of the scale, will expire when existing liabilities under those measures are discharged. No new liabilities under these measures will accrue under the Lansdowne Road Agreement. See also Q 8 in this FAQ.
References to ‘currently’ should be taken as 1 July 2013 – e.g. ‘those currently on the maximum and retiring in 2014’. References to ‘this Agreement’ are to the Haddington Road Agreement.
Q.25 How will increments be affected for those earning under €35,000?

For those on salaries below €35,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay), a 3 month increment freeze will apply during the Agreement. The freeze will take place after the first increment after 30 June 2013 is paid. The following increment will be awarded in 15 rather than 12 months or equivalent if the increment interval is longer.


Q.26 How will increments be affected for those earning between €35,000 and €65,000?

For those on salaries between €35,000 and €65,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay), there will be two 3 month increment freezes. This will take effect after the first increment after 30 June 2013 is paid. For 2 consecutive years there would be a 15 month period between increment dates. If the increment interval is longer than 12 months (e.g. incremental interval of 2 or 3 years), the freeze will be for a single 6 month period.


Q. 27 What is the position for those at the top of their incremental scale?

There are provisions for those who are on the final point of their incremental scale and whose salaries (inclusive of fixed periodic pensionable allowances) is between €35,000 and €65,000, apart from those who have annual leave of 23 days or less.


The default option will be a reduction in annual leave over the course of the Agreement, A person may alternatively elect to avail of:

  • cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of –

  • (a) the 6 annual leave days

Or

  • (b) a half of the most recent increment,

Contributions will be calculated (in respect of annual leave days and increments) on gross pay rates and reduced by 62% and deducted from net pay.


It should be noted that where an employee reaches the maximum of their scale during the course of the agreement, he/she will have a pro rata liability with reference to the duration of the agreement of the agreement, still to run.

  • Those reaching the maximum in 2014 a reduction of 4 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 4 days or one third of the most recent increment.

  • Those reaching the maximum in 2015 a reduction of 2 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 2 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.


Pro Rata arrangements for those currently on the maximum and retiring over the course of the Agreement.

For those currently on maximum and retired after July 2013, a reduction of 2 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 2 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.

For those currently on the maximum and retiring in 2014, a reduction of 3 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 3 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.

For those currently on the maximum and retiring in 2015, a reduction of 4 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 4 days or one third of the most recent increment.

For those currently on the maximum and retiring in 2016, a reduction of 6 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 6 days or one half of the most recent increment.
Pro Rata arrangements for those who reach the maximum in 2014 and retiring over the course of the Agreement.

For those who reach the maximum in 2014 and are due to retire in 2014 a reduction of 2 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 2 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.

For those who reach the maximum in 2014 and are due to retire in 2015 a reduction of 3 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 3 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.

For those who reach the maximum in 2014 and are due to retire 2016 a reduction of 4 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 4 days or one third of the most recent increment.


Pro Rata arrangements for those who reach the maximum in 2015 and retiring over the course of the Agreement.

For those who reach the maximum in 2015 and are due to retire 2015 a reduction of 2 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 2 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.

For those who reach the maximum in 2015 and are due to retire 2016 a reduction of 2 days annual leave or a cash deduction from salary of an equivalent amount to the value of 2 days or one quarter of the most recent increment.
Q.28 Can an individual apply to take the full reduction of 6 days of their annual leave in one year?

The default system will be a reduction in leave allowance of 2 days a year for the duration of the Agreement (i.e. 6 days in total). Applications to have more than 2 days of the deduction taken in any given year will be subject to approval by local management, having regard to Article 7 of the European Working Time Directive in terms of an employee’s minimum statutory leave entitlements.


Q.29 I am earning between €35,000 and €65,000 and my next increment is due on 5th July 2013. When will this be paid and what will my next increment date be?

Under the proposals the increment would be awarded on the 5th July 2013. The next increment would be 15 months later on 5th October 2014. The following increment would be paid after another 15 months on 5th January 2016.


Q.30 I am currently earning between €35,000 and €65,000. What will happen if I am promoted over the next three years to a salary over €65,000?

If you are promoted to an incremental salary above €65,000 during the Agreement, two 6 month increment freezes will apply.


Q.31 I am earning between €35,000 and €65,000 and due to move to LSI 1 on 1st January 2014. How am I affected by the proposed changes in increments?

Under the terms of the Agreement, in this case LSI1 would be awarded on 1st January 2014. However the following increment will be deferred by a period of 6 months.



Q.32 I am earning between €35,000 and €65,000 and on LSI 1 of my incremental scale and due to move to LSI 2 on 1st January 2014.  How am I affected by the proposed changes in increments?

LSI 2 would be awarded on 1 January 2014.   However, in this case, as no increment freeze will have been applied, a pro-rata reduction in annual leave of 4 days or a cash deduction equivalent to one third of the most recent increment will apply.



Earnings over €65,000

See Q.5 for the impact of the Lansdowne Road Agreement on earnings over €65,000. See also Q.8 for the impact on incremental measures.
Q. 33 Is there any restoration of the pay reductions?

For those on salaries above €65,000 to the max of the Principal (higher) scale or equivalent, the reduction in pay will be restored to the pay rate that they would have had, but for the pay reduction, within a maximum of 18 months at the end of this 3 year Agreement. The restoration will be in two equal phases – the first after 9 months and the second 9 months later.


Q.34 Are Allowances included as remuneration when calculating if employees earn annualised remuneration of €65,000 or more?

For the purpose of calculating remuneration for the application of the pay reduction to those in receipt of annualised remuneration of €65,000 or more, fixed periodic pensionable allowances should be added to basic pay and the appropriate reduction applied in accordance with the Table below.



Annualised amount of Remuneration

Reduction

Any amount up to €80,000

5.5%

Any amount over €80,000 but not over €150,000

8%

Any amount over €150,000 but not over €185,000

9%

Any amount over €185,000

10%


Q.35 How are increments affected for those earning more than €65,000?

For those on salaries above €65,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay), to the max of the Principal (higher) scale or equivalent across the public service, 2 six months increment freezes will apply. The freezes will take effect after the payment of the next increment, with the following 2 increments being awarded in 18 months or equivalent if the increment date is longer.


Q.36 I am earning over €65,000 and on the max of scale. How am I affected by the proposed changes to increments?

For those on salaries above €65,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay), and on the maximum of the scale a graduated pay reduction will apply as noted in Paragraph 2.26 of the Agreement.


Q.37 I am earning over €65,000 and on LSI 1 of the scale. How am I affected by the proposed changes to increments?

For those on salaries of more than €65,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay) and on LSI 1. The next increment – LSI 2 – will be paid as normal.


Q.38 I am earning €65,000 what increment measure applies?

For those on €65,000 exactly a three month increment deferral applies. Where the next increment brings their salary above €65,000 a six month increment deferral will apply.


Q.39 What is the situation in relation to the pay cuts where someone is on a payscale where they are paid €80,000 and decide to work a 4 day week, their salary would then be €64,000 which is below the €65,000 threshold, would they be subject to the pay cut?

Yes the pay reductions will be applied to the full time scale and worksharers will then receive a pro-rata amount of the (reduced) full time scale. The salary of worksharers and those on other atypical work patterns will be calculated by reference to the whole time equivalent salary for the grade in question.


Q.40 What is the situation where someone has had a 3 month increment freeze as part of the agreement, and reaches a scale point above €65,000 before the end date of the Agreement?

If an individual is promoted to an incremental salary above €65,000 over the course of the Agreement, two 6 month increment freezes will apply. Credit should be give if they have already had an increment freeze applied to them. If they have had a 3 month freeze applied then a further 9 months will apply, a freeze of three months on their next increment followed by a six month freeze.


Q.41 Are LSIs considered part of the pay scale?

Yes, LSIs (long service increments) where they apply are considered part of the incremental scale for this purpose


Q.42 My salary scale ranges from €85,900 to €105,400. How is my scale affected by the pay reduction?

Salary scales which start below but range above €100,000 will be reduced by the appropriate percentage with restoration in two equal phases in 2017 and 2018.


Q. 43 How do the pay reductions affect those on salaries above €100,000?

Salary scales starting over €100,000 will be reduced by the appropriate percentage based on the reductions set out in the table above.


Q.44 What is the position on increments for salaries on €100,000 or over?

Incremental progression will be suspended for 3 years for those on salaries scales starting over €100,000 (inclusive of allowances in the nature of pay).


Other pay related measures

Q.45 Is Travel and Subsistence affected by the proposed Agreement?

The review of Subsistence arrangements across the Public Service has been completed and new rates were issued for implementation from 1 July 2015.


Q.46 Are there proposals to address the imbalance in the New Entrant Salary scales?

Amalgamated incremental salary scales have been implemented from November 2013.


Pension Related Deduction

The Lansdowne Road Agreement has a significant impact on PRD. See Q.2 and Q.4.
Q.47 Are there any changes to the Pension Related deduction (PRD)?

The public service Pension Related Deduction (PRD) was reduced with effect from 1st January 2014 as follows:




Measure

Bands

Rates up to 1 Jan 2014

Rates from 1 Jan 2014

Pension Related Deduction

€0 - €15,000

€15,000 - €20,000

€20,000 - €60,000

Above €60,000



Exempt

5.0%


10.0%

10.5%


Exempt

2.5%


10.0%

10.5%

For almost all Public Servants this meant a reduction in the pension related deduction (PRD) cost of €125.00 over a full year.
Pensions

Q.48 What impact does the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR) have on pensions in payment?

The Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR), which was introduced on 1 January 2011, applied to retired public servants and imposed reductions on annual public service pensions in payment in excess of €12,000, using a progressively tiered set of bands and rates. With effect from 1 July 2013, the Act reduces those public service pensions valued at €32,500 per annum or greater, affecting all such pensions already payable on that date or awarded up to end-August 2014. The reductions range from about 2% near the €32,500 threshold level (subject to no pension falling below €32,500), to 5% for the highest pensions.


Following on from the LRC proposals in relation to the Lansdowne Road Agreement the Government has approved a set of proposals for an amelioration of the impact of the Public Service Pension Reduction (See Question 10 above)



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