Union officials said the government had “accepted” that current economic pressures would be taken into account when negotiating public servants’ salaries.
Public servant negotiators are demanding bigger pay rises after invoking a review clause in Building Momentum’s current pay agreement.
A meeting was held this afternoon between public sector unions and officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to discuss public sector pay.
According to the session chair of the Irish Trade Union Congress (ICTU) Public Services Committee (PSC), Kevin Callinan said DPER officials had “acknowledged” that there had been a change in the underlying economic assumptions that informed the negotiations leading up to adoption of building momentum agreement.
“They accepted that an adjustment to Building Momentum’s wage terms in 2022 was expected to be discussed as part of this engagement, although this exploratory meeting did not go into detail about what that might mean,” he said.
“Against the backdrop of uncertainty caused by the international situation and other factors, DPER officials also said that the government is interested in obtaining some certainty on public sector wage movements in 2023 ahead of its October 2022 budget announcement to create and that they were willing to engage with us in the coming weeks.
“We asked if, in such a scenario, the government side would try to reconsider and/or add to the change and modernization commitments in Building Momentum. DPER officials said they would consider and consult on the issue.”
Mr Callinan also confirmed both parties agreed that the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) could prove “helpful” and is asked to arrange a meeting between the PSC officers and DPER officers the week beginning May 23 to allow.
In March, the annual general meeting of ICTU’s Public Services Committee agreed to invoke Building Momentum’s review clause.
The PSC then wrote to Secretary McGrath to invoke the clause as the assumptions underlying the agreement needed to be reviewed due to high and persistent inflation, which was not anticipated by either side when the agreement was negotiated and in the union votes was accepted.
https://www.independent.ie/news/unions-says-government-has-accepted-economic-pressures-will-inform-pay-negotiations-41641103.html Unions say the government has “accepted” economic pressures that will affect wage negotiations