26 September 2023

IRELAND: Minister concedes on possible PS payrise

Start the conversation

The Irish Government is to engage with Public Service unions on a review of the existing public sector pay agreement due to the rising cost of living.

Surging inflation has led unions to trigger a review clause in the current pay agreement, Building Momentum, which is due to run until the end of the year with a further pay increase of one per cent scheduled for October.

Projections show inflation is likely to be more than six per cent this year — the highest in more than two decades.

Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath has confirmed that engagement with unions would get under way soon.

This could then pave the way for a full round of pay negotiations in May or June.

General Secretary of Ireland’s largest Public Service union, Fórsa, Kevin Callinan, said there was an urgent need for the Government, in its role as employer of more than 300,000 workers, to engage with unions on the cost of living crisis.

“It’s over three weeks since unions invoked the Building Momentum review clause, and nearly two months since I warned the Minister that high and sustained inflation was destabilising the current Public Service agreement, which will bring pay increases of less than 1.5 per cent this year,” Mr Callinan said.

“We need an immediate and serious engagement to protect living standards and ensure the Public Service agreement remains credible.”

This latest moves comes as talks are expected to get under way on a successor to Building Momentum with senior sources on both sides pointing to the possibility of a deal before the northern summer.

Meanwhile, the appointment of John Callinan as Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and Secretary General to the Government, has been approved by the Cabinet.

He replaces Martin Fraser in the dual role, which is the most powerful position in the Public Service.

Mr Callinan (pictured) has been the Second Secretary General at the Taoiseach’s Department since 2016. He played a key role representing Ireland during negotiations over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. He will take up his new role on 3 May.

Mr Fraser is to become Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK.

Dublin, 7 April 2022

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.