Co Kildare Defence Forces today getting long awaited announcements on pay restoration that are being described by a group representing their families as 'step in the right direction'

Louise McCarthy

Reporter:

Louise McCarthy

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content@kildarenow.com

Co Kildare Defence Forces today getting long awaited  announcements on pay restoration that are being described by a group representing their families as 'step in the right direction'

New pay restoration announcements today due to go to ballot within weeks

Co Kildare Defence Forces are today receiving the latest announcements on a long awaited pay restoration report due to go to balloting within weeks.

Co Kildare representative for the Wives and Partners of the Defences Forces (WPDF), Sarah Walshe, says that the most welcome announcment is the significant increase for those on duty over Saturdays and Sundays, going back to pre Haddington Road levels.

At a time when a 'mass exodus' from the Defence Forces is being reported nationally and poverty at The Curragh Camp being described as an 'all time high', by Ms Walshe of the WPDF, today's announcement is long-awaited.

The most welcome announcement is the increase on Saturday and Sunday allowances, currently at €20, increasing by approximately €100.

Ms Walshe said: “For those who work weekends, the increase will be worth a lot.This report is not a as bad as was anticipated, it is a positive step in the right direction.”

A 10% increase has been announced on duty allowances for Defences Forces members. Ms Walshe says that this increase will differ for ranks according to their duties.

She said: “It is different across the board. This is not about core pay, it is about additional allowances, which could be going to a mechanic or a paramedic for example. It is estimated that for a military footsoldier, the increase would be about €300 per year.”

PDFORRA, the association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Permanent Defence Force, said that it needed time to reflect on the report of the Public Service Pay Commission and consult with its members.

General Secretary, Gerard Guinan, said:“The Association will now undertake a detailed review of the findings made by the Commission. The National Executive will meet in the coming days to consider the totality of recommendations made and brief our members thereafter.”

Mr Guinan said:”The Association will be writing to the Department of Defence to clarify some of the issues contained within the pronouncements from Government. It remains to be seen if the recommendations made are sufficient to retain members who have waited all too long and patiently for this report.”
He said:While some of the recommendations made by the Commission go some way towards meeting the terms of the submission made by our Association, in other instances they fall considerably short. Our Association has pointed out on numerous occasions that there must be some correlation between pay and hours worked. This requires the urgent amendment of the current rates of duty allowances.”

Mr Guinan said:“The cuts to allowances and the failure to recognise the working time of members of the Defence Forces as a resource has resulted in the early departure of thousands of good men and women who were simply forced to leave for economic reasons. The defence organisation will regretably take a long time to recover from these losses.”

He added that PDFORRA welcomes the Governments adopted stance regarding the four outstanding adjudications which pertain to the members.

Mr Guinan said: “PDFORRA will continue to call on Goverment to live up to the findings made by the Independent Adjudicator in the 2010 and 2013 adjudications.”