Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Bernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
Question 399: To ask the Minister for Defence if he has received submissions from the various representative groups in the Defence Forces in relation to matters deemed likely to positively impact on the Defence Forces; the extent to which he proposes to respond; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17644/11]
Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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 both the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers and the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association to engage with the Official Side on matters which come within the scope of the Scheme. The purpose of the Scheme is to provide means acceptable to the parties for the determination of claims and proposals relating to matters such as remuneration, other conditions of service and career development. It also allows the Representative Side to bring forward for discussion subjects not listed under the scheme if the Minister agrees they are appropriate for discussion by the Council. The scheme provides a range of fora for engagement with the Associations, from Council and subcommittee meetings to less formal meeting and contacts. There is extensive engagement with both Associations in relation to the Public Service Agreement 2010 â€“ 2014 (Croke Park). It is the aim of the parties to ensure administration and implementation of the scheme in consonance with the true spirit of conciliation and arbitration as it obtains to the public service generally. The existence of the scheme does not imply that the Government has surrendered or can surrender its liberty of action in the exercise of its constitutional authority and the discharge of its responsibilities in the public interest.