By Industrial Relations Officer

Some Naval Service personnel serving in the Mediterranean on less than minimum wage……

PDFORRA, the Association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Permanent Defence Force claim that the low level of entry pay will totally undermine the ambitious recruitment plans, announced for 2016 and 2017 by Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, TD .

PDFORRA General Secretary, Gerry Rooney said: “The plan provides for hundreds of new entrants both in 2016 and 2017 to be recruited to the Permanent Defence Force, with a particular emphasis on attracting female recruits.  However, all the new entrants will be treated less favourably than all other public service workers in relation to the pay terms of the Lansdowne Rd Agreement.  Consequently, most will retire after a short period of service”.

Rooney went on to say, “In the year where the Permanent Defence Force has played such a central role in marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and in the recognition of their outstanding contribution both at home and overseas – it is plainly wrong to treat these young recruits as second class citizens”.

“The problem is particularly severe in the Naval Service where an exit queuing system has been put in place to ensure that ships have enough crew to remain operational.  Large numbers of recent entrants are leaving and this is hardly a surprise given that in some cases they are receiving less than the minimum wage while operational on missions such as Operation Pontus in the Mediterranean.  Some people will find this hard to believe, however the facts speak for themselves”.

Gerry Rooney continued “PDFORRA will not conclude the Lansdowne Rd Agreement until new entrants to the Permanent Defence Force are treated the same as other public service workers in regards to pay.  This outcome will be beneficial for both the new entrants and the Permanent Defence Force in terms of carrying out its operational tasks”.

The Minister for Defence has announced plans to recruit 600 general service personnel to the Permanent Defence Force in 2016 and a further 850 personnel in 2017.  It will specifically target women in an effort to increase their numbers from the current level of only 6%.  A year after initial entry the pay of a Private or Seaman is €21,828.


Press Statement Issued on the 14/04/2016

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