New gen sec issues pay warning

Fórsa’s new general secretary has expressed frustration at the Government’s handling of the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA), and says there is a risk of the agreement unravelling in the autumn unless there is urgent action to address its weaknesses.

Fórsa General Secretary Kevin Callinan said a process for addressing profession-specific and grade-specific pay issues across the civil and public service must be put in place immediately after the summer.

Kevin Callinan, who took over as general secretary of the 80,000-strong organisation earlier this month, said problems he had raised in March had yet to be resolved, despite informal talks with senior officials in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). In the meantime, he said, the PSSA had come under further pressure.

He said a process for addressing profession-specific and grade-specific pay issues across the civil and public service must be put in place immediately after the summer. This should be done with a view to reaching agreement in each area by the end of next March, so that talks on a successor to the PSSA could deal with the outcomes.

Kevin added that Fórsa’s Consultative Council would meet in October to consider developments.

He said Fórsa’s Consultative Council – made up of representatives of all the union’s branches – would meet in October to consider developments. “If there is still no progress at that stage, I envisage the union authorising the preparation of claims for the various grades, groups and categories, and developing an industrial strategy to progress them.

“We would be in an untenable situation if the instability around the PSSA drifted beyond September – one that would demand a significant shift in Fórsa’s emphasis, with potentially serious implications for the future of the agreement,” he said.