23. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the review of the conciliation and arbitration scheme; and when it will be completed. (Question 20295/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Conciliation and Arbitration scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force provides a formal mechanism for the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations, that is PDFORRA and RACO, to engage with the Official side.
Having regard to commitments made under pay agreements, members of the Permanent Defence Force can make representations in relation to their pay and conditions of service through their representative bodies. 
T...

41. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the actions taken by his Department on foot of the decision of the European Committee of Social Rights to provide for the collective bargaining rights of Defence Forces personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20219/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The European Committee of Social Rights has considered a complaint submitted by EUROMIL, a European umbrella body for military associations, on behalf of PDFORRA, concerning the lack of certain rights for military representative associations in Ireland. 
It should be noted that the basis for the complaint pre-dates a number of Government initiatives. In relation to collective bargaining, the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) Represe...

3. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when he will appoint an independent chairperson to commence the review of the Defence Forces conciliation and arbitration scheme; the reason the appointment had not been made by the end of 2017 as committed to the Defence Forces representative organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3628/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: My question was to ask when the Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe, will appoint an independent chairperson to commence the review of the Defence Forces conciliation and arbitration scheme and why that appointment was not made by the end of 2017, as he had committed to doing to the representative associations. I now understand that since I tabled the question last week, the Minister of State has confirmed that an independent chairman, Mr. Gerard Barry, will be appointed. Fol...

8. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to the promise of his colleague the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to publish in this term the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill which will afford enhanced representative rights to the Garda Representative Association, if a similar Bill that will bestow equivalent rights to PDFORRA and RACO will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3352/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Mick Barry: Deputy Wallace said the country was not going to be invaded and the Minister has welcomed that. It is just as well, given that only six of the eight ships the Navy has are capable of going out to sea at any one time because of staff shortages.
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30. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence how he plans to address the concerns regarding working conditions in the Defence Forces raised at the recent PDFORRA conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44190/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: I note and commend the work of Defence Forces personnel in responding to the damage inflicted by Storm Ophelia and in assisting citizens across the country. The work of the Defence Forces should be commended, particularly in light of the diminished numbers and resources with which they are dealing.
A number of issues of concern were outlined at the recent PDFORRA conference. I know they were not new to the Minister of State in any way. What are his plans to address the c...

36. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans on aligning the Defence Forces industrial relations with that of the initial findings of the Garda Síochána working group which was recently approved by Cabinet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44021/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: This question relates to the Minister of State’s position on the findings of the senior Garda management report on industrial relations and whether it has implications in regard to the Defence Forces. If the proposals of Garda senior management were adopted by the Defence Forces, does he believe it would be contrary to the European court decision regarding the right to representation?
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56. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he has had ongoing discussions with the relevant representative bodies in the Defence Forces with a view to identifying and resolving issues of concern; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43979/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 224 together. 
A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) for members of the Permanent Defence Force was established in 1993 and provides a formal mechanism for the Permanent Defence Force representative associations.
Having regard to commitments made under national pay agreements, members of the Permanent Defence Force can make representations in relation to their pay and conditions...

224. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the issues raised by the various representative bodies within the Defence Forces are being examined with a view to resolution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44257/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 224 together. 
A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) for members of the Permanent Defence Force was established in 1993 and provides a formal mechanism for the Permanent Defence Force representative associations.
Having regard to commitments made under national pay agreements, members of the Permanent Defence Force can make representations in relation to their pay and conditions...

754. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he has responded to requests from RACO in 2016 and 2017 to review both the national level industrial relations structures of the Defence Forces representation and internal Defence Forces conciliation and arbitration scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42268/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 754 and 755 together. 
I can advise the Deputy, as I announced recently, that I intend to initiate a review of the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The review will start by the end of 2017 and will be guided by an independent chairperson. 
Work has commenced on drawing up the terms of reference for the review and I hope to circulate these to the Repr...

755. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to align equivalent industrial relations structures of the Defence Forces with changes planned for the An Garda Síochána associations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42269/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 754 and 755 together. 
I can advise the Deputy, as I announced recently, that I intend to initiate a review of the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The review will start by the end of 2017 and will be guided by an independent chairperson. 
Work has commenced on drawing up the terms of reference for the review and I hope to circulate these to the Repr...

2105. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views regarding concerns raised by the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers that their members were severely disadvantaged as a result of being excluded from the national level parallel process and Defence Forces conciliation and arbitration process in January 2017. (Question 37935/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2105 and 2109 together.
Following the publication of the Report of the Public Service Pay Commission on 9 May 2017, the Government initiated negotiations on an extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement ahead of Budget 2018 considerations. 
Both RACO (Representative Association of Commissioned Officers) and PDFORRA ( Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association) were invited to t...

2108. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of the senior official from his Department who has been appointed to the working group established to review the State’s industrial relations position to facilitate recent Government decisions on the Garda associations. (Question 37938/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Defence has been afforded observer status by the Department of Justice and Equality, to the Working Group on industrial relations structures for an Garda Síochána. The official nominated to liaise with counterparts in the Department of Justice and Equality is Mr. Stephen Hall, Principal Officer, Conciliation and Arbitration Branch.
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2109. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the efforts made to deliver a transparent negotiation process through a clearly defined parallel structure and process for the Defence Forces representative associations during recent and future public service pay negotiations. (Question 37939/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2105 and 2109 together.
Following the publication of the Report of the Public Service Pay Commission on 9 May 2017, the Government initiated negotiations on an extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement ahead of Budget 2018 considerations. 
Both RACO (Representative Association of Commissioned Officers) and PDFORRA ( Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association) were invited to t...

2110. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reasons during the public sector pay talks when RACO tabled retention initiatives and invited defence sector management to do likewise the matter was diverted to the negotiating table of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37940/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Following the publication of the Report of the Public Service Pay Commission on 9 May 2017, the Government initiated negotiations on an extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement ahead of Budget 2018 considerations. The Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations attended the negotiations which were held under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The Official side at the talks included representati...

43. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to recognise the representative bodies for Defence Forces personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32595/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 43 and 63 together.
The Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 and Defence Force Regulations (DFR) provide for the establishment of representative associations for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The associations that have since been established are RACO (for commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (for enlisted personnel). 
A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) for members of the Permanent D...

63. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to meet with PDFORRA; his views on the right of the Defence Forces to have a representative body to discuss issues such as low pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32597/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 43 and 63 together.
The Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 and Defence Force Regulations (DFR) provide for the establishment of representative associations for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The associations that have since been established are RACO (for commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (for enlisted personnel). 
A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) for members of the Permanent D...

314. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if consideration is being given to the requests of an association (details supplied); the proposals there are to enable Defence Forces personnel to have access to the State’s industrial relations agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23767/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): In relation to the right to trade union status for the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations, I wish to advise that under the terms of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1990 the Defence Forces Representative Associations are prohibited from being associated with, or affiliated to any trade unions, or any other body. Accordingly, the Representative Associations cannot be affiliated to ICTU at present. The basis for the...

274. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will allow members of the Defence Forces to join trade unions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22262/17 asked on 10 May 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the terms of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1990 the Defence Forces Representative Associations are prohibited from being associated with, or affiliated to any trade unions, or any other body without the consent of the Minister.
The basis for the prohibition is that it would be inappropriate to apply the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 to members of the Defence Forces. The taking of any form of industrial a...

677. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the way in which members of the Defence Forces can make representations to his Department regarding their pay and conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21725/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Members of the Permanent Defence Force can make representations in relation to their pay and conditions of service through their representative bodies, PDFORRA and RACO. The Conciliation and Arbitration scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force provides a formal mechanism for the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations, RACO and PDFORRA, to engage with the Official side. The purpose of the scheme is to prov...

680. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he is taking to provide members of the Defence Forces the right to join a trade union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22000/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the terms of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1990 the Defence Forces Representative Associations are prohibited from being associated with, or affiliated to any trade unions, or any other body. Accordingly, the Representative Associations cannot be affiliated to ICTU. The basis for the prohibition is that it would be inappropriate to apply the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 to members of the Defence Forces...

681. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to review the restrictions on the rights of members of the Defence Forces to the collective bargaining process and to participate in various forms of industrial action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22017/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the terms of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1990 the Defence Forces Representative Associations are prohibited from being associated with, or affiliated to any trade unions, or any other body. Accordingly, the Representative Associations cannot be affiliated to ICTU. The basis for the prohibition is that it would be inappropriate to apply the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 to members of the Defence Forces...

3. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the discussions he has undertaken and the representations he has made with regard to reviewing the industrial relations process for Defence Forces representative associations. (Question 15651/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: What discussions has the Minister of State undertaken and what representations has he made with regard to reviewing the industrial relations process for Defence Forces representative associations, and will he make a statement on the matter?
 ...

4. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the Government’s response to the application being taken to the European Committee of Social Rights by EUROMIL on behalf of PDFORRA seeking enhanced employee and representative rights for the Defence Forces akin to that won by the Garda organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15538/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Mick Barry: I thank Deputy Lisa Chambers for allowing me to leapfrog with the taking of my Question No. 3 before her Question No. 4.
An application is being taken to the European Committee of Social Rights by EUROMIL on behalf of PDFORRA seeking enhanced employee and representative rights for the Defence Forces akin to those won by the Garda organisations. Will the Minister of State indicate his views and make a statement on the matter?
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6. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reviews of a matter (details supplied) that have been conducted by his Department; the outcomes of those reviews to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15261/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Deputy Clare Daly: This is the third question being put to the Minister on the issue of the inadequate representation of members of the Defence Forces. The Minister of State’s response to my two colleagues was to tell us of the lack of access for the Defence Forces to the industrial relations machinery. We do not want know what the present arrangement is. We want to know what the Minister of State has done to change it. His answers so far have been to shrug his shoulders and say it is grand ...

19. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to honour the terms and conditions of service of the representative association professional staff under Defence Forces regulation S6 as it relates to their career progression arrangement. (Question 15410/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Where full-time officials of representative associations are serving personnel, there are informal arrangements in place for their advancement in rank in the normal course. These arrangements are predicated on the principle that such personnel should not suffer any adverse or beneficial impacts on their promotion prospects relative to their peer group as a result of their representing the interests of their ...