A major conflict across the public sector was avoided as trade unions negotiated new agreements covering state, local and regional government workers. Some elements of the agreements are the same with an overall package worth 8.1% over three years. This figure includes a basic increase for all workers but also elements directly specifically at low paid workers and jobs predominantly done by women. An important element is the change in the rules linking pay developments to those in the public sector with the guarantee now that pay will move fully in parallel rather than only guaranteeing a part of the private sector increase.
Unions secure new agreements across public sector
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Mar. 19, 2018 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.
Apr. 20, 2018 The mediator in the public sector pay dispute has extended the official period of mediation. Unless she decides to end the mediation early then this means that the unions cannot take any strike action until 6 May and employers cannot impose their threatened lockout until 12 May. In the meantime unions are still mobilising their activists and public services union FOA organised a meeting of 2000 worker representatives which reaffirmed their determination to push for a real wage increase as well as special measures to address low pay and pay in occupations dominated by women.