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Nearly two-thirds of civil servants in line for pay increase this year

63 per cent of civil servants – including 2,776 who already earn over €70k – are entitled to ‘increments’ this year.

Image: Eleanor Keegan/Photocall Ireland

ALMOST TWO-THIRDS of civil servants are in line for pay increases this year due to the length of their service, it has emerged.

Documents compiled by the Implementation Body for the Croke Park Agreement show that 63 per cent of employees in the civil service are eligible for an ‘increment’ increase to their salaries this year.

Increments are paid to civil and public servants based on the length of their careers, with pay increases usually awarded on an annual basis. Some long-service increments are paid when a worker has already reached the top of their pay grade.

19,710 of employees in the civil service will be eligible for an increment in 2012, though another 11,908 employees are unaffected by the measures to target increments.

The documents, submitted to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee and first spotted by today’s Irish Independent, outline how 2,776 employees who already have salaries above €70,000 will receive increments this year.

The majority of those receiving increments are among the civil service’s lower earners; 70 per cent of staff who are entitled to an increment currently earn below €50,000.

Another 14 per cent – one in seven – of those entitled to a pay increase earn between €50,000 and €70,000.

Elsewhere, the document suggests the Exchequer’s pension bill will be €285 million higher this year than it was last year – rising from €2.75 billion to €3.04 billion – given the extra volume of staff who retired in the first two months of this year to exploit a change in taxation arrangements.

By 2015, it suggests, the public pensions bill will have stabilised at just under €3.1 billion, while the net exchequer bill for public pay will have fallen from its current level by €1 billion – from €14.7 billion in 2011 to €13.7 billion in four years’ time.

The document also outlines reforms to public service employment arrangements capping the maximum amount of annual leave a person can take at 32 days, with “local leave arrangements such as festivals, races and so on” also being cancelled.

Annual sick leave in public sector costs State over €551 million

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Gavan Reilly

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