27 November 2019
By Elaine Murphy
The Defence Forces should have their own pay agreement, independent of other sectors of the public service, Cork Senator Colm Burke has said.
Senator Burke said: “At a time when our economy is resurgent and there is fierce competition in the labour market, we need to recognise the unique role the Defence Forces plays in our society.
“I believe our Defence Forces need their own pay commission to reflect the service they carry out for the citizens of this state as distinct from other parts of the public service.
“I think it is important to remember Defence Forces members are not involved in negotiations over their own pay.
“The three branches of our Defence Forces – the Army, the Air Corps and our Naval Service need to be involved in their own pay discussions. The work they do deserves a bespoke approach from Government in terms of their remuneration.
“The demands on our Defence Forces go above and beyond what is required in most walks of life. It is essential that the branches are appropriately staffed to ensure that undue pressure is not put on those who serve us with honour.
“When I visited Chad and Palestine during my time as an MEP I saw first-hand the extreme situations where our defence forces have to deploy.
“I believe to reflect the unique nature of the work carried out by the three services their pay and conditions need to be looked at in isolation from other sectors of the public service.
“It is clearly evident that members of the Defence Forces are rightly held in high esteem.
“The Government has made great strides on the issue of Defence Forces pay since the cuts imposed during the recession, I think giving our military the opportunity to have a say on their pay and conditions is the next logical step,” Senator Burke said.