ASTI members reject proposed public service agreement

ASTI members reject proposed public service agreement

ASTI members have today voted to reject the proposed public service agreement “Building Momentum” because it does not restore full pay equality for staff recruited since 2011. Pic Larry Cummins

ASTI members have today voted to reject the proposed public service agreement “Building Momentum” because it does not restore full pay equality for staff recruited since 2011.

Members voted against the proposed public service agreement by a margin of 79% to 21%. The ASTI membership voted to reject the deal on the basis that so-called "new entrants" are still suffering a pay disadvantage.

Commenting on the result of the ballot, ASTI President Ann Piggott said the proposed agreement does not resolve the problem of unequal pay in teaching, an issue which the ASTI has been pursuing for more than a decade.

The ASTI will participate in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ aggregate vote process.

The outcome of today’s ballot and of the ICTU aggregate vote will be considered by the ASTI executive.

So far, only three unions have recommended the rejection of "Building Momentum".

Both the ASTI and the Teachers Union of Ireland urged members to vote no because the deal did not restore pay equality for post-primary teachers, while the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association, also recommended rejection because of a long-running pay inequality grievance.

The two-year successor to the Public Service Stability Agreement covers around 350,000 civil and public servants and will add around €900m per year to the public service pay bill when fully implemented. The Building Momentum agreement aims to provide a framework for pay, conditions, reforms in public service delivery, and industrial peace for the next two years. It is due to run until December 2022.

If accepted, Building Momentum guarantees two 1% pay rises in October of 2021 and 2022, along with potentially a further 1% through a process of sectoral bargaining.

However, to avail of the Sectoral Bargaining Fund, or any of the benefits of "Building Momentum" for that matter, unions must maintain industrial peace and comply with a new dispute resolution process.

There will also be a process leading to the rolling back of unpopular additional unpaid hours imposed on state employees in the 2013 Haddington Road Agreement, and the restoration of pre-austerity rates of overtime and premium payments.

The new agreement also contains proposals for reform through technology and work practice changes, including enabling temporary reassignments where necessary and increasing staff movement across the entire public service.

It provides for an implementation plan and verification of delivery of agreed reforms.

There will be €150m allocated to begin implementation of the outcome during 2022, with the possibility of the further roll-out of additional recommendations in any subsequent public service agreement.

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