The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) has “overwhelmingly” voted to endorse the new €900 million public service pay agreement.
The Irish Times reports that Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan, who chairs the public service committee of Ictu, said that Ictu-affiliated unions were committed to the full implementation of the agreement.
Public service staff are set to receive several pay increases under the deal, including a one per cent pay increase in October 2021, with the equivalent of a further one per cent award in February 2022 based on sectoral bargaining.
A new independent body will also be established to examine the additional hours without additional pay introduced for groups in the public service, under the previous Haddington Road agreement in 2013.
Overall, the new agreement will cost €906 million spread over 2021, 2022 and 2023.
The pay terms represent a realistic and acceptable approach to incomes
Mr Callinan said the deal would bring tangible benefits to those who use and provide public services.
“The pay terms represent a realistic and acceptable approach to incomes, and they are substantially skewed towards lower earners in a very challenging context of limited resources,” he said.
The Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath, described the deal as fair, affordable and sustainable.
The agreement acknowledges the contribution of the public service during the pandemic “by providing affordable pay adjustments commencing later this year,” he said.
Siptu deputy general secretary John King said: “From the outset of our membership consultations, it was clear that there was a real appetite to reject austerity agreements, and improve and progress pay while protecting public service delivery and public service jobs.
“There was also a demand to try and find a way to deal with grade-related pressure points, without undermining a collective agreement.
“This short, two year agreement can deliver on these objectives while providing security in times of great uncertainty for all workers across public service.”
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) general secretary John Boyle said that while the pay increases of one per cent per annum were modest, “the addition of €500 per year to salaries below €50,000 is appropriate particularly for those in the early stages of their careers”.
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the main issues for the union’s members were the restoration of hours to pre-2013 levels, safe staffing, and funds to deal with nursing management outstanding claims.
“The challenges to retain staff in our health services are real. All aspects of this agreement must be fully implemented over its two-year lifetime,” she said.