Minister invites public sector unions to pay talks

The discussions are expected to begin later this month

Minister invites public sector unions to pay talks

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking to the media about the Public Service Pay Commission Report | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has invited the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to discussions on public service pay.

He has also sent a similar invitation to Garda and Defence Forces' associations.

Minister Donohoe says this comes after consideration of the Public Service Pay Commission report, which was published on May 9th.

The commission found that there is now a basis for all parties in the public sector to enter into negotiations for a new national public sector pay agreement, to suceed Lansdowne Road.

It called for any future pay adjustments to be linked to the delivery of workplace reforms and continuous improvements in productivity – adding that pay for public service employees is still higher than private sector pay levels for people with similar characteristics.

It also called for public service employees to contribute more towards their pension arrangements.

"Following consideration of the report by Government, I have now invited the representative organisations for public servants to enter discussions", Mr Donohoe said.

"The purpose of these discussions will be to seek agreement with staff interests on an extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA), to provide for an agreed approach to the continued unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation.

"This agreement will be sought while securing the productivity gains of the LRA and previous collective agreements."

He said the talks will also look to secure and provide a "fair, balanced and sustainable response" to the expectations of public servants.

He added: "I expect all parties to engage constructively and in a realistic way during what will be a complex and difficult negotiation.

"Public service collective agreements, and by definition public servants are widely and correctly recognised as having made a particularly valuable contribution to the State's economic recovery through providing stability, certainty and industrial peace.

"Thankfully, we are at a point where we can consider and negotiate on modest improvements to current public service pay and conditions, while also recognising that Government must continue to act prudently regarding the management of the national finances".

The talks are set to begin this month.