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DAA Response To SIPTU Ballot On Pension Arrangements

February 10 2014

DAA notes today’s statement from SIPTU in relation to the ballot it has conducted concerning pension arrangements at the company.

The achievement of a fair and balanced resolution of the very significant challenges faced by the Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme (IASS) is a priority for DAA and it strongly refutes any contention that it has been intransigent and is not doing all in its power to secure this objective.

Given the governance role held by the Trustee of the IASS; the complexities of the  regulatory environment for pension schemes; and the multi-employer nature of the scheme itself, resolution of the difficulties faced by the IASS necessarily requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, including the trade unions. Given the scale of the deficit in the scheme, it will also require appropriate compromise.

DAA is committed to securing such a resolution and believes it can be best achieved based on last year’s Labour Court recommendation on this issue. As part of this resolution, DAA is also fully committed to a new defined contribution scheme for all employees, as endorsed by the Labour Court recommendation.

A key pre-requisite for progress is a decision by the IASS Trustee to make their final proposal concerning the IASS for the approval of members and the Pensions Board. This proposal will provide clarity about the pension benefits the IASS can reasonably expect to provide for members’ past service and the information required by employers and unions to discuss how the Labour Court recommendation is best implemented.

DAA has held a number of high level meetings with the Trustee and the Pensions Board over recent months to highlight the need for urgency on this matter, which is the cause of justifiable concern for employees.  The company believes the Trustee will be in a position to make its proposal very soon, and subsequent to that event, it is willing to meet trade union representatives to seek to agree the best way forward.

In light of this commitment, DAA calls on the Trustee to announce their final proposal and on SIPTU not to contemplate any form of industrial action. This would only cause concern and inconvenience for customers and would not bring the desired resolution of the pensions issue any closer.    

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