Irish govt pilots public service benchmarking

Ireland’s 230,000 public servants will each get special pay increases this
month as the country experiments with a public service benchmarking scheme.

The salary rises, ranging from 3 per cent to 25 per cent, are in addition to
the current national wage agreement which provides for 4.8 per cent annual pay

The benchmarking scheme has been billed as the most extensive and
comprehensive comparison of public and private sector jobs conducted in Europe.

The programme is being administered by the Public Service Benchmarking Body,
which was established as a joint initiative between the Irish Congress of Trade
Unions and the Irish Government – through its national social partnership –
after a series of strikes across the public sector.

More than 2m euros (£1.4m) was spent hiring various experts and consultants
to assess the education, responsibilities, performance, stresses, skills,
judgement, competencies and management structures in 135 different sectors and

The benchmarking team engaged nine leading consultancy firms, including Cap
Gemini, Watson Wyatt, Hay Group, Saville & Holdsworth, and Mercer to
prepare specific job evaluations has. It produced pay data on 202 private
sector companies, involving 3,563 jobs, and developed 276 core ‘job capsules’
with which to make comparisons.

The process is a historic break from the traditional grade structures with
salary scales based on relativities to key grades like clerical officer or
principal officer civil service positions.

The new rates apply to members of the police, nurses, teachers, hospital
doctors, soldiers, council engineers, health board administrators and the civil
service, apart from the two top grades.

By Gerald Flynn an industrial correspondent with the Irish Independent.

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