26 September 2023

IRELAND: Unions to consider new pay offer

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Irish public sector pay talks will hang in the balance for another four weeks as unions debate whether to accept a 6.5 per cent increase following marathon talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The €2.7 billion ($A4 billion) package for incremental increases over the next two years followed 19 hours of discussions.

The Public Sector Committee (PSC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has now advised unions to suspend the planned balloting for industrial action — which had been scheduled for September — so that they can consult their members on the WRC proposal.

The PSC is set to meet again on 7 October to decide on whether to accept the proposal, but this will come too late for the Budget which the Government plans to unveil at the end of September.

Unions are waiting to see what cost-of-living measures will be offered in the Budget before committing to the deal.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Micheál Martin encouraged public sector workers to accept the deal which, he said, recognised workers were living in extraordinary times.

“I think we’re going through, and will be going through, a very difficult period economically because of the war in Ukraine,” Mr Martin said.

“We need to work on this one, through this crisis in a collective way and, in that context, I would hope and would recommend that the deal be accepted.”

Chair of the PSC, Kevin Callinan said he believed the proposal was the best that could be achieved through negotiations.

“Neither side has achieved all it sought, but this package is a significant improvement and it is worth more to those who need it most,” Mr Callinan (pictured) said.

Dublin, 2 September 2022

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