Explainer: What will the proposed €1.6 billion public sector pay deal mean for workers?

The proposed pay agreement for public sector workers, drawn up after late night talks between representatives of the Irish Trades Union Congress (ICTU) and government officials, has come after tense negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Let’s see what it could mean for employees if accepted by them.

What does the proposed collective agreement for public sector employees look like?

A package has been proposed that would increase pay by 3 per cent retroactive to February 2 this year, 2 per cent from March 1 next year and 1.5 per cent or €750, whichever is greater, from October 1 would envisage next year. This is in addition to 1pc or €500, whichever is greater, due early October this year, plus an industry specific bargaining cash worth 1pc annual base salary from 1st February this year.

What would this mean for the average government worker?

For a national school teacher starting at €38,192 per year, the package would mean an increase in the order of €3,073 to €41,265 (8h).

A teacher who joined the job after January 1, 2011 with 10 years of service and €51,487 would see an increase from €3,964 to €55,451 (7.7 percent).

For a Lake Garda with seven years of service and a basic salary of EUR 49,498, this increase would increase by EUR 3,812 to EUR 53,310 (7.7 percent).

These figures include current agreements in the existing Building Momentum plan, which increases current salary scales by an additional 1 percent in October.

Are public sector unions happy with this?

We do not know yet. A statement from Ictu said its committee meeting decided that individual unions should now consult their members on the package before making a collective decision on whether to accept or reject the package.

When will we know if it’s a runner or not?

There will be another Ictu-PSC meeting on Friday 7th October where votes will be weighted to reflect the number of public servants each union represents.

Is it likely to be accepted?

You can never tell. Ictu has said neither side has achieved everything they wanted, but added that the package represents a significant upgrade to the pay terms of the current Building Momentum agreement and is worth more to those who need it most, so that this looks like code to say “That’s a good deal under the circumstances”.

How much will this cost the taxpayer?

1.6 billion euros spread over this year, next year and 2024.

Why do public sector employees get a raise?

Their unions were negotiating with the government for a pay rise as their current Building Momentum agreement called for renegotiation. Like all workers, they have seen their wages eroded by massive inflation, largely caused by factors beyond our control – like the energy crisis, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ictu began talks with Public Expenditure and Reform Secretary Michael McGrath and government officials 10 weeks ago, but they collapsed after unions rejected an additional 5 per cent pay rise for members spread over this year and next.

This is in addition to the 2 pieces that will be paid under the deal this year – 1 piece of it this past February and another piece due in October.

What has happened since then?

Unions representing 340,000 workers have warned the government that unless a credible salary offer is put on the table, public employees will start voting for industrial action later this week. The talks lasted until Monday evening. The WRC tabled a proposal which Ictu then discussed in a team meeting with individual union leaders at 10am yesterday morning.

Are public sector workers still planning industrial action?

Unlikely. The Ictu Committee recommended suspending planned industrial action elections while unions debate the WRC package.

https://www.independent.ie/business/budget/explainer-what-will-the-proposed-16bn-public-sector-pay-deal-mean-for-workers-41949144.html Explainer: What will the proposed €1.6 billion public sector pay deal mean for workers?

Fry Electronics Team

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