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Minister with responsibility for Defence appoints Gerard Barry to chair a review of the Conciliation and Arbitration scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force.

Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D. Minister with responsibility for Defence, announced in the Dáíl today (Wednesday 24 January 2018) that he has appointed Mr. Gerard Barry as an independent chairperson for a review of the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force.

The Minister said, “I announced recently that one of my priorities for 2018 would be a review of the C&A Scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The scheme has been in existence since the early 1990’s and since then it has provided the framework to progress many successful negotiated agreements between Defence management, PDFORRA and RACO. However, in the intervening period there have been many changes in the industrial relations landscape and it is now appropriate that the Scheme is reviewed in order to ensure that it remains efficient and effective.”

The Minister added “while the review will primarily focus on the operation of the scheme, the review will also consider options for third party mediation or arbitration, if appropriate. In this regard, it is important that the chairperson should be an individual who is not only independent of the Defence sector but has the background and experience in the broader industrial relations environment. I am satisfied that Gerard Barry has that in abundance”.

The Minister has requested the chairperson to provide him with a report no later than six months from the initiation of the review.

Note for Editors:
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 RACO (who represent commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (who represent enlisted personnel) to engage with the Official side on matters, which come within the scope of the Scheme.

Having regard to commitments made under national public sector pay agreements, members of the Permanent Defence Force can make representations in relation to their pay and conditions of service through their representative bodies. Where agreement is not reached it is open to both official and representative sides to refer the matter to an adjudicator or an arbitration Board to settle the matter.

Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., Minister with responsibility for Defence, has initiated a review of the scheme. The Department of Defence/Defence Forces management, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, PDFORRA and RACO, as parties to the scheme will all contribute to the review.


The Minister has appointed Mr. Gerard Barry as an independent chairperson for the review. Mr. Barry has vast experience in the area of industrial relations. He was CEO of the Health Services Employers Agency for 13 years. He served as a Government nominee to the Board of the Labour Relations Commission for 7 years and has been a member of the Public Service Arbitration Board for 8 years.



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