Pay rise agreed for public sector workers

Public sector workers are to receive what amounts to an average of a 10.25 per cent pay rise over the next two years, following the conclusion of negotiations between the Government and stakeholders at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Under the agreement, it is estimated that 385,000 public sector workers will see their pay raised, including teachers, doctors, nurses, and gardaí.

The deal is a compromise between the Government, which had originally offered a pay increase of 8.5 per cent, and trade unions, which had been demanding pay increases of 12.5 per cent.

In February 2024, the largest public sector union, Fórsa, will ballot its members on the terms offered by the Government. Members have been encouraged to vote in favour of the terms by Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan.

“The union’s executive backed the terms of the deal negotiated over the past two months, and its recommendation is based on the understanding that the pay terms represent the absolute maximum achievable through negotiations at this time, and that it is the outcome of a challenging negotiations process,” Callinan said.

Under the terms, the first pay rise for workers will either be 2.25 per cent from their current salary, or €1,125, depending on which number is higher. This pay rise, if agreed, will be backdated to 1 January 2024.

This will be followed by a 1 per cent increase on 1 June 2024, followed by a further 1 per cent increase or €500, whichever is greater, on 1 October 2024.

On 1 March 2025, there will be another 2 per cent increase, followed by a 1 per cent increase on 1 August 2025. On 1 February 2026, public servants will receive a further 1 per cent increase with a final 1 per cent taking effect on 1 June 2026.

The terms also stipulate that a new local bargaining instalment, equivalent to 1 per cent of the basic pay, will be issued on 1 September 2024.

The process of reaching agreement was overseen by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Established under Enda Kenny’s government in October 2015, the WRC is an independent state agency which chairs labour disputes and has responsibility for industrial relations.

Chaired by former Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary David Begg, the WRC has an annual budget of just over €15 million.

Speaking on the deal, Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD said that the deal would cost the exchequer around €3.6 billion “over the next four years”, but welcomed the deal, saying: “From a national finance point of view and the competitiveness of our economy, this kind of wage growth and knowing where we stand across the next two-and-a-half years is really valuable to how we manage our economy and create an atmosphere of stability and certainty.”

Show More
Back to top button