The Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 to 2020: What You Need to Know
In June 2017, the Irish government reached an agreement with public service unions on a new three-year pay deal known as the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) 2018 to 2020. This agreement covers approximately 300,000 public servants in areas such as health, education, justice, and local government.
The PSSA aims to provide stability and certainty for public servants while also ensuring value for money for taxpayers. It includes a series of pay increases and reforms to working conditions, as well as measures to improve public services and control costs.
Under the agreement, most public servants will receive pay increases of between 6.2% and 7.4% over the three-year period. This includes a 1% pay increase that was implemented in January 2018, with further increases due in October 2018, September 2019, and October 2020.
However, not all public servants will receive the same level of pay increases. Those earning more than €70,000 per year will face a slower rate of pay restoration, with increases of just 1% per year up to 2020. This is intended to ensure that higher-paid public servants contribute more to the overall cost of the agreement.
In addition to pay increases, the PSSA includes a range of reforms to working conditions, including changes to the pension scheme for new entrants from 2019 and measures to address recruitment and retention difficulties in certain areas such as nursing and teaching.
The agreement also includes a commitment to improve public services, with measures such as the creation of 1,300 additional teaching posts and increased investment in mental health services. These measures are intended to address some of the key challenges facing the public service and ensure that it is able to meet the evolving needs of society.
Overall, the PSSA represents a significant investment in the public service and a commitment to improving the lives of citizens in Ireland. While there are some who remain critical of the agreement, particularly in relation to its impact on higher-paid public servants, it is likely to provide a period of stability and certainty for public servants and the broader public service for the years ahead.