The government’s offer of a 5 percent pay rise over two years for civil servants is ‘not credible’, and an improved offer is needed to continue talks, the unions told the Labor Relations Commission. the workplace (WRC).
The Public Services Committee (PSC) of the Irish Trades Union Congress said it backed the view of union negotiators that the government’s recent wage offer could not be credibly put to the vote as income workers low and medium fight against soaring prices.
Talks between the unions and the government on public sector pay began in early June at the WRC.
Under the current public sector wage agreement, Building Momentum, public sector workers received a 1% wage increase last year, with an additional 1% due in October. The unions triggered a review clause contained in the agreement almost four months ago due to higher than expected inflation in 2021 and 2022.
The government then proposed an additional increase of just 2.5% for the 2021-2022 period of the current deal, which is currently being reviewed with the help of the WRC.
This was “clearly insufficient when inflation is expected to be at least 9% over this period,” PSC chairman Kevin Callinan said in a letter to WRC chief executive Liam Kelly this week.
According to the union’s position, the offer “cannot be credibly submitted to the votes of low- and middle-income public servants”.
The CPS “endorsed this position, which can only change if the government side is prepared to make an improved offer for 2021-2022,” the letter said.
The PSC also agreed that its officers could not credibly reach an agreement on pay in 2023 until Building Momentum’s current pay terms are reviewed and improved.
Mr Callinan told the WRC that civil service unions expected an improved salary offer from the government to be made.
“Like workers across the economy, public servants are currently bearing the full brunt of large and sustained increases in the cost of home heating, fuel, food, housing, child care and many other other essentials,” he said.