By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
Public servants have been offered phased wage increases of 6.5 per cent over the course of 18 months to October 2023, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) has said.
The revised package sees pay increases of 3 per cent from February 2nd, 2022; 2 per cent from March 1st, 2023; and 1.5 per cent or €750, whichever is the greater, from October 1st, 2023.
This is in addition to 1 per cent or €500, whichever is greater, due at the beginning of October 2022, Ictu said.
Chairman of Ictu’s public services committee Kevin Callinan said he believed the terms were the best that could be achieved through negotiations.
WRC proposes public services pay package after 19 hours of talks @kcallinan50 said he believed the outcome of this long process was the best that could be currently achieved through negotiations"https://t.co/2zvqHFD3Pk pic.twitter.com/T18Pzt4FsM
— Irish Congress (ICTU) (@irishcongress) August 30, 2022
“We’ll now be explaining this package to union members, who will have the final say in ballots.
“Neither side has achieved all it sought, but this package is a significant improvement on the pay terms of Building Momentum, and it is worth more to those who need it most.
“This underlines the importance of the unions’ decision to invoke the review clause in the current agreement.”
At noon on Monday, Government officials and unions representing more than 300,000 public servants such as gardaí, nurses and teachers resumed negotiations aimed at reaching a new public sector pay deal.
Negotiations ended after 19 hours, finishing in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Workplace Relations Commission has been brokering the negotiations, and information available about the new terms had been closely guarded as unions planned to update their membership with the details of the revised offer.
Ahead of the resumption of Monday’s negotiations, unions warned that they were preparing industrial action ballots, to commence at the end of August, with the aim of improving public sector pay amid the cost-of-living crisis.
In June, public sector workers rejected a pay increase of 5 per cent from Government, arguing that it was not enough amid the high inflation rate.
The Consumer Price Index tracked inflation in Ireland at 9.1 per cent in the year to June – the largest increase since 1984 when it was at a rate of 9.7 per cent.
Speaking to national radio at the weekend ahead of the talks, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said that “achieving a deal will require flexibility on both sides”.
“People will have to move on both sides. The government will have to make a revised offer, but it does take us to the limit of what we can afford to do in the context of Budget 2023,” he said.