Lansdowne Road AgreementIndex | Career Break | Croke Park Hours | DEIS 2017 | Inspection | Leave of Absence | Lansdowne Road Agreement | Maternity Leave | NQTs | Paternity Leave | Patronage | Pension | Salary | Sick Leave | Substitute Teachers | Staffing | Vetting
- Why did the talks take place?
- When the Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) was negotiated, the Public Service Unions wrote to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) stating that if the state’s finances improved, we would lodge a claim for restoration.all
- What is the view of the Central Executive Committee
The CEC, the elected leadership of the INTO, having considered the agreement in detail in recommended acceptance to members.
The CEC concluded that the LRA is a commencement of income restoration to teachers.
In terms of fairness, because income restoration is flat rated, it offered greater benefit to newer teachers. It also protected the HRA restoration terms for those earning above €65k and provided for the restoration on the salary scale of an S & S payment at the earliest possible juncture (an improvement on the HRA terms).
- What income restoration is contained in the agreement?
LRA 1 Jan 2016 Increase in PRD exemption to €24,750 from €15,000 (worth €600 pa)
LRA 1 Sept 2016 Further increase in PRD exemption to €28,750 [the combined effect of both of these is an annual gross saving in PRD of €1,000]
HRA 1 Sept 2016 €796 added to each point of the Teachers’ Scale: 1st half of the agreed restoration of the S & S payment.
HRA 1 April 2017 Uplift for those earning €65,000: 1st half of the agreed restoration of the HRA pay-cut.
HRA 1 Sept 2017 €796 added to each point of the Teachers’ Scale: 2nd half of the agreed restoration of the S & S payment
LRA 1 Sept 2017 €1,000 flat rate restoration on salary scale commences
HRA 1 Jan 2018 Uplift for those earning €65,000: 2nd half of the agreed restoration of the HRA pay-cut.
- Will increments be affected by this agreement?
No. Under the HRA there was provision for increment delays. Once these are discharged, no further delays arise. Specifically, no delays to the awarding of increments are created by the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
- What happens to the ‘grace period’ under the LRA?
Under the LRA, the Government has agreed to a further extension of the grace period. There will be no loss in pension or lumpsum for any member retiring before HRA cuts are restored. Essentially retirement salary is taken as being at pre-HRA rates.
- How are entrants since 2012 (NQTs) affected?
This LRA secured three flat-rate increases: on the scale, in S & S restoration and in Pension Levy reductions. Flat rate increases are more favourable to those who are lower on the pay scale than percentage increases. The issue of equalized pay scales could not be resolved in the LRA discussions which were confined to specific restoration measures within a particular budget framework. INTO made significant progress on the 2012 scales in the HRA and is fully committed to equalization. Significant steps in the HRA and small steps in LRA (new first point of scale, flat rate increases) are evidence of INTO’s ongoing commitment to equalization.
The removal of the qualification allowance in early 2012 exposed 2012 graduates to starting on point 1 of the existing scale (€27,814). In fact, INTO action secured a start point of €30,702 (which LRA moves to €31,009 with earnings further increased by the pension levy cut) and accelerated progression across a number of scale points.
Following HRA/LRA, there has been an increase (compared to the bare scale after the allowance was removed) of 11.5% at point 1, and of 15.1% across the first four points. There is now near equality over points 1-10 of the scale, but significant issues for INTO to tackle arise thereafter to which the union is committed. At the top point, INTO secured a 12.2% increase in the 2012 scale under HRA.
- How will take home pay be affected?
The effect on take home pay from the reduction in the pension levy will vary depending on an individual’s income, PRSI and tax rate. The pension levy currently attracts income tax relief in the same way as pension contributions. When the levy is reduced this tax relief will also be reduced. In essence, the final take home benefit of the €1,000 gross reduction of the levy will vary depending on whether the individual pays tax at the standard rate of 20% or the marginal rate of 40%.
- Does the agreement alter any terms and conditions?
- No. In contrast to the HRA there will be no changes to individual terms and conditions.all
- Will pensioners benefit from the Lansdowne Road Agreement?
Pensions are not directly covered by the agreement. However, in a separate engagement with the ICTU Public Services Committee and the Alliance of Retired Public Servants, the management side confirmed that pensions will be restored by way of a reduction in the pensions related deduction made from pensions.
- Are there changes to the disputes procedures under the LRA?
No. The Labour Relations Commission (LRC), in commending the proposed agreement to the parties, confirmed that all existing dispute resolution procedures, including sectoral arrangements provided for under the HRA, continue to apply.
- Is there a ‘no strike’ agreement?
As is normal, the agreement provides that strikes or other forms of industrial action are precluded in respect of any matters covered by the agreement, where the parties are acting in accordance with its provisions. This is the same clause that was contained in previous agreements. There are no prohibitions on strikes or other forms of industrial action on any matters not covered by the agreement.
- How will the ICTU Public Services Committee (i.e. unions representing all public servants) ultimately decide on the outcome?
- The LRA was endorsed by the ICTU Public Services Committee at a meeting on 16 September. There are 19 public service unions, of which INTO is among the largest.all