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Eight things to know about the pay-rise plan for public sector workers

Public sector workers will benefit from changes to austerity-era cost-cutting measures as pay rises are on the way.

Pay hikes worth €3,300 are on the way for more than 60,000 workers – but it may not be enough to avoid strikes.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the problem with recruits’ pay?
The Government brought in a so-called ‘yellow pack’ two-tier pay system during the recession in a bid to cut costs when the Exchequer finances were in crisis. Former finance minister Brian Lenihan announced the cuts to new recruits’ pay in 2010, and they went on rates 10pc lower than their longer-serving colleagues.

Did this improve for workers since the recession ended?
The 10pc cut was replaced with two lower starting points at the bottom of the pay scales under the Haddington Road agreement in 2013.

This meant the new entrants went on the same scale as colleagues, but it took them two years longer to reach the maximum point.

What are increments and payscales?
Public servants are on incremental pay scales that mean pay rates might start, say, at €23,000, which is called the first point in the scale, and rise annually by €5,000 increments until they reach the top of the scale, which could be €50,000. The length of pay scales vary and some grades of staff may have 12 points and others 27.

How many new entrants are there?
There are 60,513, or roughly one in five of the public service workforce.

What kind of pay rise can the new recruits expect?
The average public servant will get a €3,300 increase, as outlined in an Expenditure Department report last March.

What about nurses, teachers, gardaí and soldiers?
The average payment to education workers is €3,771. Teachers make up 16,054 or 68pc of these new entrants;
The average payment to health workers is €3,318. Nurses are 38.5pc of this;
The average civil servant will get €2,548;
The average local authority worker will get €1,875;
The average member of the Defence Forces will get €1,603;
The average garda will get €1,500.
Aren’t public servants getting pay rises already?
They are already on course to get pay rises worth more than 7pc over the course of the current pay deal.

What does the deal mean?
The new entrants will bypass point four and point eight of their pay scales. They will get these benefits from March next year.

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