78. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he has met with representatives of an organisation (details supplied) on the submission to the Public Service Pay Commission; if the views of the organisation will be included in the joint submission process; if the terms of reference of the examination by the commission includes meeting with representatives of the Defence Forces personnel, including the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19317/18 asked on 02 May 2018)
Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 and 76 to 78, inclusive, together.
In 2017, under my direction, the Department of Defence brought issues of recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces to the attention of the Public Sector Pay Commission (PSPC). As a direct result of that initiative the PSPC is now beginning an in-depth evidence based examination of those issues.
The Public Service Pay Commission has commenced this work and has requested hard data and detailed information from my Department. My Department has been working in close collaboration with Military management with the aim of preparing the material requested. The Military authorities have produced a paper. This is being considered by my Department having regard to the data and information requested.
My Department has forwarded an initial tranche of information to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to Air Corps pilots. Further material in relation to the challenges in the Defence sector will be forwarded to the submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in the coming weeks as the collation of data and information is completed.
I understand that both PDFORRA and RACO have been requested to make a submissions by the Commission and have done so.
The Public Service Pay Commission is due to complete its exercise in the second half of 2018. The findings and proposals arising will be considered at that time.