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McGrath gives the green light to exploratory talks on public service pay

The talks will centre around the pay for 350,000 people who work in the public sector.

Image: Sam Boal

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE MINISTER Michael McGrath has given the green light to exploratory discussions on public service pay.

In a statement this afternoon, the department said that having discussed the matter with Government colleagues at this week’s Cabinet meeting, the minister today directed his officials to arrange to enter into exploratory discussions with public service unions and associations in relation “to an agreed way forward on public service pay issues”.

The talks will centre around the pay for 350,000 people who work in the public sector against a backdrop of rising inflation.

“These will be difficult discussions against a very challenging backdrop. The discussions must be cognisant of the multiple challenges that the country is currently facing including the impact of rising inflation and the conflict in the Ukraine,” said McGrath today.

“However, I believe that there is scope for all parties to engage constructively on a way forward that is reasonable and fair to both public servants and taxpayers generally,” he concluded. 

The Congress of Trade Unions and SIPTU previously called for a review clause in the current pay agreement to be invoked to respond to the pressure inflation was putting on public sector workers.

McGrath acknowledged at the time that inflation was now “a pressure point” for many workers.

Annual inflation hit a 40-year high of 6.7% in March, on the back of soaring energy prices, data from the Central Statistics Office showed last month.

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