Subject: IMPORTANT: Your ballot paper for proposed public service agreement


Dear Forename

This email contains a link to an electronic voting platform and a Unique Voter Code, which allows you to vote electronically on the proposed new national public service agreement called Building Momentum.

Your Unique Voter Code is: LH1B–RY60-7415

Note that you can only vote electronically, as ballot papers are not being distributed in the normal way because of Covid-19 restrictions. Also note that the unique voting code can only be used once, and that it cannot be reissued if lost.

The closing date for casting your vote is 17.00hrs on Thursday 11th February 2021.

You will be directed to the electronic voting platform by clicking HERE.

Fórsa’s elected National Executive has given detailed consideration to the proposed package, and has overwhelmingly decided to recommend ACCEPTANCE of the agreement in this ballot.

I share the National Executive’s view that Building Momentum represents the best possible outcome at this time. I am particularly pleased that we have achieved a package that’s substantially weighted towards lower-income civil and public servants.

The proposed agreement also includes a mechanism (and initial funding) to address the additional hours introduced under the Haddington Road agreement, and a separate mechanism (and initial funding) to address sectoral issues.

The provisions of the proposed two-year agreement include:

  • A general round increase worth 1% of gross pay or €500 a year, whichever is the greater, on 1st October 2021
  • A second general round increase worth 1% of gross pay or €500 a year, whichever is the greater on 1st October 2022
  • Provision for the equivalent of an additional 1% increase through a ‘sectoral bargaining fund’ on 1st February 2022.
  • A process of returning to pre-Haddington Road working hours, with €150 million available to commence implementation during 2022. This means that those affected will see reduced working time next year if the deal is accepted
  • Restoration of overtime and premium payments to pre-2013 levels
  • The establishment of a ‘sectoral bargaining fund,’ initially worth 1% of basic pensionable pay, to deal with outstanding adjudications, recommendations, awards and claims, with the option for groups to use all or part of the available allocation as a sectoral pay round
  • The retention of strong safeguards against outsourcing
  • A commitment not to increase CORU, or other professional registration fees, during the lifetime of the agreement
  • A requirement for the education department to consult with Fórsa about the updating of the SNA contract, including the appropriate use of the contracted 72 hours.
  • This is a relatively short two-year agreement which means that, if it’s accepted, I expect to be back in negotiations to further improve pay, working conditions and protections in 18 months or so.

You can read a more detailed summary of the main points of the agreement, and ask questions via Fórsa’s FAQ document, on the union website. The full text of the proposed agreement is also available there.

Further information is also available from your Fórsa branch secretary, who will also have details of any virtual information meetings planned for your branch or area.

I urge you to read the proposed agreement and cast your vote before the deadline so that your voice is heard in the Fórsa ballot.

With best wishes,

Kevin Callinan
General Secretary