Public servants earning less than €65k set for pay rise in April
By Elaine Loughlin, Political Reporter
Public-sector workers are to receive an extra one-off payment this year, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has confirmed.
The payment will be given to around 250,000 public sector workers in a bid to avoid industrial action this year.
Minister Paschal Donohoe is to bring forward a €1,000 pay rise to workers who come under the Lansdowne Road and earn up to €65,000.
After talks with the Irish Congress of Trade Union (ICTU) Government has agreed to an increase in annualised salaries of €1,000 for the period 1 April to August 2017. This means that workers will receive around €420 more this year.
Mr Donohoe stressed that it is a "one off cost for 2017" and he said it was important in "securing order in how we plan our public expenditure for this year".
The deal will cost €128m and will be found through efficiencies and savings Mr Donohoe said.
The pay deal will not apply to Gardaí who have already received around €3,000 as part of a Labour Court agreement, nor will it apply to teachers who are members of the ASTI and are outside of Lansdowne Road.
Mr Donohoe said: "This Government believes in the value of collective agreements and is taking steps to support the continued implementation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
“A collective approach to public service pay is vital to our national interest as it provides for the stable industrial relations environment which has been a pillar of our domestic recovery and restored international reputation.
“Collective agreements deliver public service reform, secure productivity improvements and allow for strong fiscal planning – where pay increases are negotiated fairly and budgeted for on a multi-annual basis.
"This allows us to balance pay increases in the public service with other societal priorities including improvements in housing and health care."
Public servants will have to commit not to take any strike action, however.
“The other scenario that I faced into is inexorable pressure building up on those unions and their members who were inside the Lansdowne Road Agreement,” he said.
“The consequences for that are unpredictable, they would have been unpredictable for the Exchequer, they would have been unpredictable for industrial relations within our country.”