Public service pay agreement set for review as unions highlight soaring inflation

UNIONS was formed to seek reconsideration of the existing public service pay arrangement due to high inflation.

Irish General Assembly public service committee chairman Kevin Callinan will suggest at today’s meeting that they invoke a provision in the Build Momentum agreement that expires at the end of the year.

The 1pc pay rise is due on October 1st as per the agreement.

Clause 5.7 of Building Momentum says that the payment terms of the agreement cannot be reviewed during the life of the agreement unless “the assumptions contained in this agreement need to be reviewed”.

Mr Callinan said he would recommend to the General Assembly of the public service commission that unions formally activate the review clause.

He will introduce that it will meet again in two weeks time.

Mr Callinan, who is also Secretary General of Fórsa, said persistently high inflation and a strong public finances were the basis for reviewing the terms of the agreement.

Speaking to the AGM, he said the assumptions underpinning the deal clearly need to be revisited given the soaring inflation.

“Yesterday, the CSO reported that, at 5.6pc in the year to February, inflation is at a 21-year high,” he said.

“It is clear that the cost of living is on the rise, although before that it was hoped that prices would stabilize and come down. There is no assumption of high and sustainable cost-of-living increases when the deal is negotiated by the end of 2020.

“Meanwhile, public finances are in surplus, and both the unemployment rate and projected deficit are much lower than anticipated at the time Construction Momentum was negotiated and accepted by civil servants in the vote.

“More than a month ago, on February 3, I raised these issues in the Employment Economy Forum, which brings together the highest-ranking representatives of government, trade unions and employers. motion.

“I have identified three urgent actions – including confirmation that negotiations on a Dynamic Build successor will open in May – are required to stabilize the deal amid changing economic circumstances. completely change this.

“In the absence of any concrete action on these necessary actions, and with the cost of living continuing to soar, it is time to activate the constructive Momentum Review provision,” he said.

John King of Siptu said members want an urgent review of Building Momentum’s pay agreement and any negotiations over this or a new agreement “will have to take into account the rate of inflation and the rising cost of living.” ladder”. Public service pay agreement set for review as unions highlight soaring inflation

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