With inflation hitting a 21-year high of 5.6%, Kevin Callinan, head of the Fórsa public service union, has called for the current “Building momentum” public sector agreement to be reviewed. Under the agreement public service pay will increase by just 1.2% this year. The agreement has an opening clause and Callinan argues that both the high level of inflation and more positive situation for the public finances justify the review. Meanwhile, members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists’ Association (part of the SIPTU trade union) will take strike action on 30 March unless the Department of Health addresses problems of low pay and understaffing. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Call to review pay agreement as inflation surges
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The ADEDY civil service trade union confederation has called a national strike on 6 April over pay, jobs and public sector funding. It argues that with inflation at a 25-year high of 7% public sector salaries need to be increased immediately. There has been no increase since 2009 when salaries for many public sector workers were cut by 40%. ADEDY is also calling for reinstatement of 13th and 14th month salary payments and an increase in, and extension to the special allowance for arduous and dangerous work. The confederation’s other demands include urgent action to recruit permanent staff to
Civil servants this year will see pay rise by 8% for the first six months with a further 4% for the second six months. Workers on less than TL 3500 (EUR 555) a month will get an additional TL 150 (EUR 25). Not all public sector trade unions are happy with the outcome as inflation is currently running at 16.7%. Pay in 2020 is set to increase in two instalments of 3%, although this could be increased if inflation is higher.
The Forsa public services union is arguing that the current public sector agreement needs to address cost-of-living increases and occupation and grade-specific claims. Recent pay rises have brought pay back to 2008 levels but don't take account of the 6% rise in prices while there is a range of demands from different groups of workers that have not been addressed in earlier negotiations. This is reflected in the current dispute involving nurses and midwives which is now being addressed in the Labour Court. The Court had ruled earlier in favour of a pay rise for nurses and midwives and other