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Significant Improvements in Pay and Conditions for New Defence Force Recruits

The Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD, attended the Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association, (PDFORRA), in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. Minister Coveney welcomed the opportunity to address delegates on a number of key issues facing the Defence Force, and pointed towards a range of improvements made over the last year with regard to pay and conditions.

The Minister underlined the pay related elements of the Commission on the Defence Forces Report, and announced that his Department will now proceed to immediately implement two of the pay-related recommendations of the Report; namely, that all personnel of Private 3 Star/Able Seaman rank will be paid the full rate of MSA applicable to the rank, while at the same time, the requirement for that cohort to ‘mark time’ for the first three years at that rank will be removed.

Minister Coveney stated, “these measures will result in the pay rates for Private 3 Star/Able Seaman in their first three years of service starting at €34,798 in Year 1, €36,128 in Year 2, and €37,353 in Year 3 of service.”

He also referenced the recently agreed extension to the Building Momentum Pay Agreement. If ratified, this extension will further improve members pay, and allowances in the nature of pay, by 6.5% over 2022 and 2023.

In recognition of a particular concern raised at the Conference that Defence Forces personnel’s daily ration allowance should be raised to reflect present day inflation prices, the Minister announced an increase in the daily ration rate of 52%.

Minister Coveney also informed delegates that payments of Technical Pay to eligible personnel, arising out of increases associated with the Review of Technical Pay Groups 2-6, would be complete by the end of this month.

Referring specifically to the issue of Post 1994 Contracts, the Minister welcomed the extension of service limits for Privates and Corporals, adding that a remedy for post- 1994 Sergeants is a key priority for him, and stating that discussions were ongoing with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on this important matter.

Finally, the Minister noted the central role that the Defence Forces play at both national and international level, commenting, “I am very proud of the professional role the Defence Forces have undertaken overseas and was delighted to have had the opportunity to witness, first-hand, the work undertaken during my visit to Lebanon on the 28th of May last. Indeed I look forward to meeting personnel again when I visit towards the end of this month.”


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