Public sector pay offer falls well short of union expectations

Ireland

Public services unions, including Fórsa, SIPTU and INMO, were very disappointed with the government’s initial pay offer as part of the negotiations for a new, multi-year public sector collective agreement. The unions say that the offer revealed the lack of preparedness of the government to negotiate a sustainable deal. The unions argue that the offer of 7% with 1.5% payable in March this year, fails to meet the basic test of dealing with the cumulative gap between wages and inflation – amounting to almost 19% over the last three years. The unions are concerned about the painfully slow process of negotiation and say that the initial offer would put little more (before deductions) than an average of just €5 per week on the wages of low-income public sector workers, and €10 per week in the wages of those on middle-incomes in the first year. The unions are ready to commence a ballot for industrial action should it become necessary in the coming days.