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Public sector staff to get 1% pay rise next year - with another to follow in 2022

Each of the public service unions will now consider the proposal before putting the package to their members.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews

STAFF IN THE public sector are to get two pay rises of 1% in the next two years under a deal negotiated with trade unions via the Workplace Relations Commission.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath invited public service unions and staff associations to formal negotiations on a new pay agreement at the end of last month to replace the Public Service Stability Agreement which expires on 31 December.

McGrath said at the time that any agreement has to be “appropriate to the context the country is currently facing and must be sustainable in the face of considerable economic uncertainty”. 

In a statement this morning, the Public Services Committee (PSC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) said negotiations in the WRC concluded in the early hours of the morning, settling on a “positive” short-term package. 

Negotiators said the package is “substantially weighted towards lower-income civil and public servants”, providing for two pay increases. 

To ensure staff on lower incomes receive a significantly larger percentage increase than higher-paid staff, the pay increase will be worth 1% of gross pay or €500 a year, whichever is the greater, on 1 October 2021.  The second increase will take place on 1 October 2022. 

The deal also provides for the equivalent of a 1% increase in annualised salaries through a Sectoral Bargaining Fund on 1 February 2022 “to deal with outstanding adjudications, recommendations, awards and claims, with the option for groups to use the available allocation as a sectoral pay round”.

Under the new deal, public sector workers will also see a return to 2013 overtime and premium payment rates and a mechanism for the eventual return of additional unpaid hours imposed under the Haddington Road Agreement.

If ratified, the Building Momentum: A New Public Sector Agreement would run from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2022. Each of the public service unions affiliated to ICTU  will now give the proposals detailed consideration before putting the package to their members.

Speaking after this morning’s meeting, the chair of the PSC, Kevin Callinan, said the proposals were the best outcome that could be achieved over the relatively short lifetime of the proposed deal.

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“The ICTU team has also achieved a process to address sectoral issues, and a separate mechanism that will make real and substantial progress on the issues outstanding from the Haddington Road agreement, including its introduction of longer working hours that fell most heavily on women workers,” he said.

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Adam Daly

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