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Crunch time

Pay rise of 10.25% over 2.5 years for public sector agreed after 'difficult' all-night talks

The pay increase will benefit over 385,000 public and civil workers.


TRADE UNIONS AND the Government have agreed on a proposal for a public sector pay deal that will see a 10.25% rise in pay for workers over 2.5 years. 

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has said that the overnight negotiations were a “difficult” process for all of the parties involved.

The deal stands to benefit 385,000 civil and public sector workers including teachers, gardaí, and HSE staff. 

The deal includes pay increases of 9.25%, with a provision for a local bargaining mechanism equivalent to 1%. 

Overnight talks at the WRC saw the unions and the Government land on the 10.25% figure after the Government initially proposed an increase of just over 8%, and the unions combatted the offer with an ask of over 12%. 

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) said that it has briefed its 19 affiliate unions on the terms of the new public sector pay agreement, which was finalised following 22 hours of negotiations. 

The ICTU said that the pay increase secured by unions was the “absolute maximum achievable through negotiations. 


Affiliate unions have been asked to consider the terms of the deal and begin the process of organising ballots of union members. The balloting period is expected to extend until 25th March to allow the unions time to decide. 

It said that the unions’ negotiators have secured a higher pay adjustment for workers in 2024 (4.5%) than the Government was initially willing to offer. 

The ICTU said that details for the local bargaining mechanism that will be introduced in the deal will be agreed by 30 June this year, with local negotiations to take place between then and June 2025.

Speaking to Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Minister  Donohoe said there was little point in going back into the WRC and asking Union reps to move on their position if he wasn’t willing to himself. 

He added that the negotiations were a “very difficult process for both sides of the table”, but one that all parties approached with “good will”. 

Donohoe said he was persuaded to make some “final changes” during the night because he believes that reaching an agreement on the value of public sector wages in the Irish economy over two and a half years is “vital” for stability. 

He also said the agreement means Ireland can continue to develop its public services, and retain public servants. 

Donohoe said that he has made a commitment to continue engaging with unions on local bargaining rights for separate public sector workforces, which the 1% mechanism agreed to in this deal evidences. 

He stressed that while 1% may seem like a small amount when viewed as an increase in an individual’s pay, it represents a cost to the public purse of well over €300 million. 

Talks on a pay deal began last November, and have broken down twice in the intervening months. The latest round of negotiations kicked off after WRC officials invited the Government and Union representatives to re-engage.

Antoinette Cunningham from AGSI, the union for gardaí, told Morning Ireland that officials in negotiations “do not understand garda work related issues” this morning after leaving the WRC. 

She said that unions had agreed on a “set of proposals” and that she would bring the details back to the AGSI national executive. 

Cunningham said that issues affecting Gardaí such as rosters are “very different from other sectors”, and that that is something that the union will have to “continue to address”. 

The Forsa trade union has sent further details of the deal to its members.

This is a breaking news story, we will have an update shortly.

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