Defence forces pay and staffing levels to be raised in Oireachtas Committee

Defence forces pay and staffing levels to be raised in Oireachtas Committee

LACK of personnel and poor pay in the Defence Forces will be raised with a Joint Oireachtas Committee next week.

The difficulties in the navy, army and air corps will be highlighted by the president of PDFORRA, navy member Mark Keane. He will address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Justice and Defence, alongside PDFORRA general secretary Ger Guinan and deputy general secretary Martin Bright.

The meeting will take place just two days after the expected publication next Tuesday of the Public Service Pay Commission. It had been expected last Tuesday.

A spokesman for PDFORRA said: "PDFORRA intends to appraise the Committee on the submissions made by our Association to the Public Service Pay Commission and the effect of current legislative restrictions on pay/allowance negotiations. Additionally, your Association intends to update the Committee on the status of on-going discussions on the application of the Working Time Directive (WTD)."

He added: "Presently, the Association has been heavily involved in mediation talks and has had significant exchanges of correspondence over the course of the past number of weeks. Additionally, the Association has been involved in a parallel process at Conciliation and Arbitration regarding the application of the WTD.

PDFORRA is looking forward to the opportunity to have a full and frank discussion with the Committee members and to highlight issues which are impacting deeply on our membership."

The Echo revealed last week that several navy personnel are leaving the organisation because of poor pay and conditions, and are taking up better paid jobs with Aldi and Lidl.

It is expected that there will be some increases recommended in allowances in the report to be published on Tuesday.

Last week, a Fianna Fail motion before the Dail on securing proper pay and conditions for the Defence Forces was passed. The motion was opposed by the government.

A number of parades have already taken place by retired Defence Force members and family of serving members. Another parade is scheduled to take place in Galway in August to highlight concerns about pay and conditions in the armed forces.

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