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Applying For Public Sector Job - Query On Pay Scales

  • 15-01-2023 3:49pm
    Registered Users Posts: 421 ✭✭

    Hi Guys

    I am in a private sector job, I am looking at applying for a public sector job.

    Now I am looking at what it says in the booklet as regards the salary scales (see below) is it possible to start above the first two points of the scale if my current salary is higher?

    Next does each point on the scale represent a years service e.g. say your on point 3 (€81,676), does it mean you move up to point 4 (€87,770) next year?

    Plus what does it mean by bar?

    "Salary: This appointment will be made on the Administrative 1 (Points 1-6), Salary Scale (€63,138 - €99,973 per annum) at a point in line with current Government pay policy.  


    1 €63,138

    2 €65,450

    3 €81,676

    /bar/ /bar/

    4 €87,770

    5 €93,886

    6 €99,973"

    Any responses appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,193 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    Generally, if you are not coming from public or civil sector role, you are going to start on the bottom of the scale.

    There are very few, if any (that I am aware of) situations where this is not the case, however it is possible that in some specific areas of public sector things might be different. Did it mention anything in the booklet on where you start? (usually it will say you start on the bottom - if it doesn't there may be some room for negotiation - either way you can query this with the employer prior to applying)

    I am not sure what the bars are - usually there are two or three points on the scale (at the top of the scale) called LSI (Long Service Increments)

    You would generally start on the bottom of the scale and you would get an increment every year (subject to performance etc) after that, till you get to the point directly below the LSI. From there on you LSI's are usually a gap of 2 or three years between them.

    Again, not familiar with the Bar/Bar terminology - might be something specific.

    The points on that scale look pretty unusual - is that the full scale or have you shortened it a bit?

  • Registered Users Posts: 491 ✭✭SwimClub

    I beleive the bar is there for this type of thing - to allow flexibility to be able to hire people at a higher rate if they have some relevant experience compared to someone who starts out at the very bottom in the service and works their way up, it might also be a way to stop people automatically moving up the scale if they are not meeting some performance criteria.

  • Registered Users Posts: 632 ✭✭✭squidgainz

    Sorry just another query for anybody who might know , if you are already in the public service on say point 4 , and you get a promotion what level do you start at , or if not a promotion a different job in public service what point do you start at?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,716 ✭✭✭griffin100

    I've posted this before here but i work in the wider public service (not civil service) and I've recruited people into roles from the private sector well up the pay scale for the job. In my organisation I need to justify it by showing the salary that the person was on outside of the organisation and making a submission to HR. We usually allow entry onto the point that gives a minimum 5% increase in salary. However I have brought people in on the top of scales in the past by making a good business case for it. It will depend on the organisation concerned though and how it manages this - some are very strict and for private sector entrants its point 1 only. I think I recognize that pay scale - large entity in Dublin 2?

  • Registered Users Posts: 170 ✭✭Shuffl_in

    The closest point on the new scale above your current salary, plus one point.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 34,115 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    Remember, the public sector is huge and covers a wide range of areas.

    You can go into a public sector role at the very top of the payscale.

    You can move roles internally with a promotion well up the next pay scale.

    It's a myth that there is a locked standard across the board, both at entry to the public sector and moving around.

    The only standardized thing I've seen where I work is the yearly increments, in that we automatically go up a point on the payscale every year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 632 ✭✭✭squidgainz

  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭Equium

    From my experience, the 'bar' here is a merit bar. You will progress through the salary scale by way of annual increments until you reach the bar, upon which you may apply for and pass a review by the local governing committee/board.

    For some professions, passing the merit bar is considered part of your normal career progression. For others, however, the role is actually advertised as 'to the bar'. In these cases, progression beyond the bar is not a career formality. Indeed it may not even be possible in certain roles. You will need to check with the HR department advertising the role.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thegingerbear

    Hi there, I am in a somewhat similar position as I have been offered a position in the Dept. of Agric and I am currently employed with a Local Authority. The DOA have offered a salary significantly lower than my current salary as they deem my current role is not analogous to the new role in terms of salary. Does anyone know where I can get advice on this issue. The DOA refer to Circular 08/2019 how they are justifying their decision. I spoke with a Senior HR person from the DOA but it all seemed very hazy as to what analogous is actually defined as, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. The pay scales for both positions are very similar.

  • Registered Users Posts: 34,115 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    The comment is not necessarily true though, there's no 100% way it's done across the public sector and varies a lot dependent on where you are based.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 491 ✭✭SwimClub

    I'd write to them and argue that the roles are analagous in terms of responsibility in the public sector as evidenced by the similar payscales. You could look at the number of years service needed and entry requirements etc. for both scales to argue they are analagous. Politely ask them to re-consider given that you'd love to take the role but due to the increased cost of living your personal finances don't permit you to take a pay cut at this time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 Darwiny

    What Grades are you moving from and to?

    Grade 3 from Civil service or HSE is analogous to Clerical Officer

    Grade 5 or Staff officer is analogous to Executive Officer

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thegingerbear

    This is an Engineering position and not an Administrative position. I have already emailed them and discussed it with a Senior HR rep from the DOA but to no success although he has referred it up further. My current payscale is slightly higher at the top but the difference is relatively low but the starting scales are different and that seems to be an issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 491 ✭✭SwimClub

    I'd try to get whoever is hiring you, who presumably wants you to take the job, to get involved.

    It being the public sector they may just say they can do nothing about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,893 ✭✭✭Daith

    Are they expecting you to start at the beginning of their scale? I was in a slightly similar position and the HR rep had said that some grades which had a higher salary scale might mean starting at lower point on a different grade. I didn't take the job for other reasons, and never got a definite answer, but it definitely felt more annoying than I thought.

    Obv you couldn't be going from a sec gen to CO on same salary, but the scales were close enough in my case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thegingerbear

    They offered the very bottom of the scale as they say the two posts aren't analogous even though the top of the scales are very close and they refer to Circular 08/2019 to explain it but in my opinion it doesn't cover my situation but they think otherwise. Although they are really stuck for Engineers the HR Dept. won't alter course which is crazy when you think about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 477 ✭✭Metalpanic

    Are they paying you on a different scale for what your role might be traditionally paid as? That could explain their resistance to bump you up. They might have no more room to manoeuvre. What will your title be, if it is not Administrator?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,893 ✭✭✭Daith

    Right and there's no official list of analogous grades (I think), so it's up to how their HR views it. Sorry, it must be awfully frustrating.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 Darwiny

    There is a guidance list for analogous Grade's but it only includes 3 Grades Clerical Officer, Executive Officer and Service Officer.

    Technical and Service Grades have to apply for incremental credit but I've only seen nurses successful

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The fact that the scales are different shouldn't mean anything. Normally, you'd be put on a new point that's between the two (known as off-point or mid-point some places). The issue relates to whether or not your years of service & salary are transferable between the two roles. I've had a bit of dealings with this kind of stuff over the years, I was the union rep in a Public service place with loads joining the Civil service proper. Pretty much every single HR unit makes up their own rules and some allowed you to start at the next point up while others refused to do anything other than begin at the bottom.

    This is the circular you're talking about. A couple of relevant points:

    Application of starting pay rules to officers securing higher posts by way of open competition

    3.1 For the avoidance of doubt, it is confirmed that where the appointee to a higher post is a currently serving civil or public servant, the arrangements for officers appointed through confined competition described at Part A above shall apply. 

    Part A relates to promotion for existing civil servants. The above quote means that the same rules apply to existing CIVIL servants as they apply to existing PUBLIC servants. So, she should be treating you EXACTLY the same as if you were a CIVIL servant if you are a PUBLIC servant. this is very relevant to you.

    Part A states:

    A. Pay on promotion from competitions confined to existing civil servants

    1. Starting pay rules- see Appendix 1

    1.1 On promotion, an officer will be appointed at the minimum point of the new scale unless any of the conditions set out at 1.2 apply.

    1.2 (i) Where the officer's current salary is above the minimum point of the new scale but below the normal maximum, the nearest point above the officer's current salary point plus one increment.

    (ii) Where the officer's current salary is above the normal maximum point of the new scale but below LSI1, the nearest point above the officer's current salary point (i.e. LSI1).

    (iii) Where the officer's current salary is above LSI1 and below LSI2 of the new scale, the nearest point above the officer's current salary point (i.e. LSI2).

    (iv) Where the minimum of the new salary scale is greater than existing pay by an amount less than the first increment on the new scale, the officer may enter the new scale at the minimum plus one increment. 

    The bolded part states that if you are a civil servant earning more than point 1 (on the new scale) on your current scale (which is true in your case) then you go up a point to the next highest one above your current one, plus one extra point. Part B then states that this rule applies to you as well as existing civil servants. This is where I'd focus my arguments, to be honest, you're moving over on promotion so you should be treated the same as if it was an internal competition.

    There is no mention of analogous grades in either of these parts, as that is covered completely in part C. I would make the case (and have done) that it matters SFA whether or not she deems the roles/scales analogous, as Parts A and B apply anyway.

    Section 4.3 also states that they have to put in place an appeals process, though this only relates to whether or not the roles are analogous. I'd steer clear of this, except as a last resort, because part C doesn't apply to you. If you came in through an open comp, and you're a public servant, you don't have to start at the bottom.

    Best of luck, I know how much of a pain it can be. I'd have expected HR in Ag House to be better though, it was always the smaller HR units that were run by Nazis who caused any hassle while I was on the front lines.

    A friend of mine was sick of our place and trying to join the civil service proper. He'd applied for an open comp as CO and as EO. He was an "Admin Assistant", which is a public grade equivalent to a CO in the civil service in everything but name. Same leave and salary arrangements, absolutely identical in every way, including EO being the next grade up for both of them. He made EO in the open comp and was told he was starting at the bottom. The AA and EO roles aren't linked, according to the new HR, so he argued the toss with them for a few weeks.

    While he was fighting his case, he got called from the CO panel to a completely different Department. He accepted it, transferred across on the same scale (as the roles are analogous), then informed the Department where he'd made EO that he was now a CO. He got to keep his current scale and ended up going up 3 points total because of the way it worked out.

    Another friend had worse luck though. He was made stay on his current point (think it was point 5) until he'd reached that point on the new essentially not losing any money, just frozen on that salary for 5 years.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thegingerbear

    Thanks for the comments, I will be following up on the issue in the coming days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭doc22

    The issue is the payscales, there different so not analogous and as your current role has a higher max so it's not a promotion so "the same as Civil Servant rule doesn't apply" . But even as an exisiting civil servant you'd start at bottom based on those rules. Nonsense that they won't give any credit but that's what happening.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,893 ✭✭✭Daith

    Yes, people doing technical roles can be in a few grades. Really wish it was more streamlined because there are issues like this.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,724 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Local Authorities, you will enter on point 1 irrespective of previous experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭CW2022

    Does the entry start point apply to people who have previous public sector service like the 10 years prison service if you apply for a clerical role (customs competition). Any help as you where you could find this out? Thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭doc22

    Are you in the prison service immediately before CO appointment, then likely yes(if max salary is below that of CO).Otherwise the 10 years in prison service might not be analogous to CO and not counted