(June 2017) Details are emerging of the latest stage in negotiations between public sector unions and the government as they begin to unwind the austerity pay arrangements that saw pay cut and frozen and workers paying a pensions levy. The latest proposals are for a three-year deal running from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020. There will be several pay increases over the period plus changes to the salary thresholds for the pensions levy. If agreed the deal would mean, for example, that a worker on EUR 30000 or less would be 7.4% better off by 2020.
Progress with pay talks
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Public service trade unions have secured talks with the government to deal with the issue of low pay for new entrants. In 2011, as part of austerity measures, the government introduced two new lower pay grades for new recruits. This was not agreed by trade unions at the time and they have continued to demand action by the government. It is estimated that 60000 workers have been taken on since 2011 and have started on these lower rates of pay.
Unions representing public service workers have secured important pay improvements that reverse some of the main changes introduced as austerity measures. Changes to public service pay scales meant that workers taken on from 2010 were at a disadvantage as they had to work two years longer to reach the top of the pay scale. Pay progression for these workers will now be adjusted by cutting out two points of the pay scale. Meanwhile, workers in social services in the non-profit sector (Section 39 organisations) will get a EUR 1000 increase next April in the first stage of a three-year process to
The FP-CGIL public service federation has criticised the employers' negotiating body, ARAN, for failing to make progress on a new collective agreement covering managers and professionals in public administration. The union has a clear set of demands relating to trade union representation, salary protection in cases of restructuring, severance pay, the salary structure and working hours. It hopes that these will be addressed by the new president of ARAN.