Information Circular No 13/2016: Government to Impose Increment Freeze From 1st July

By Industrial Relations Officer

In a shock move, the Department of Defence has informed PDFORRA that it intends to impose an increment freeze on soldiers, sailors and aircrew with effect from 1st July 2016 because PDFORRA has not agreed to sign up to the terms of the Lansdowne Rd Agreement (LRA).

The Department has informed PDFORRA that it cannot receive the benefits and protections of the LRA if it does not signed up to it.  In response PDFORRA has pointed out that it is co-operating with the LRA modernisation and reform agenda and therefore meeting all its obligations under the Agreement.  In these circumstances an increment freeze is an act of bad faith and, in PDFORRA opinion, a breach of the LRA and the principles underpinning it.  It may also be legally questionable.

While PDFORRA and its members have met and will continue to meet their obligations under the LRA it has not  signed up to it because of the failure of the Government to implement the section which ends the two-tier pay structure in respect of Privates who have joined the Defence Forces since 2013.  PDFORRA contends that this group of members should have their current pay position advanced as they are the only ones to be treated in this manner across the entire public service.

It appears clear that the motivation for implementing an increment freeze in the PDF is to force PDFORRA to abandon its efforts to end the two-tier pay structures applying to those of Private rank who joined since 2013.  This motivation may have been further fuelled by PDFORRAs success in securing a 5.26% pay and pensionable allowance increase for this group in 2014 on foot of the introduction of a personal pension contribution (PPC).

Over the coming week, PDFORRA will consider its response to this important development following consultation with our membership.  However, the initial responses have all indicated that abandoning pursuit of the ending of the two-tier pay structure in respect of Privates joining since 2013 will not form part of any solution.  PDFORRA is very appreciative of its members support in these circumstances and will issue updates as matters develop.

 

Issued on the 01/07/2016

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