Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, has welcomed the outcome of negotiations between the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on improvements to new entrant pay announced this week.

“This announcement is progress for all groups of public servants who have been fighting to get changes to this system and they are welcome.

“They will apply to all public servants including the defence forces whose wives and partners recently marched in Dublin for better pay and conditions.

“It is a step in the right direction for all those new entrants including nurses who have entered service on reduced pay since changes made in 2010.

Deputy Heydon said: “I recently met with representatives of Kildare INTO (Curragh Branch) to discuss issues of concern to primary school teachers across Kildare in advance of Budget 2019.

“Pay parity between teachers has been a key issue for  teachers particularly those qualified post 2011. I raised this directly with my colleagues Education Minister Richard Bruton and Finance Minister Paschal Donohue.

“I am glad that the Government has been able to agree the deal announced today on restoration of pay for all new entrant public servants. This deal provides for a series of incremental jumps for new entrants at the fourth and eighth points of their scale.

“The new deal complements the improvements to starting pay already agreed to under the Lansdowne Road Agreement and is progress for defence forces, teachers, nurses and all public servants.