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)

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.

The scheme, since its inception in the early 1990’s has provided the framework to progress many successful negotiated agreements between Defence management, PDFORRA and RACO. However, there have been many changes in the industrial relations landscape in the intervening period. I considered it appropriate to conduct a fundamental review of the scheme, at this time, to ensure that it remains efficient and effective for all parties.

I appointed Mr. Gerard Barry to chair the review, which is currently in process. The Chairman has sought and received input from the parties to the current Permanent Defence Force C&A scheme; that is the Department of Defence, Defence Forces, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, PDFORRA and RACO.

The Chairman has held plenary meetings with all parties and has had a series of bilateral meetings. There is ongoing engagement and a series of further bilateral meetings have been arranged for next week.

I expect to receive a report from the Chairman by the end of August.