Minister Michael McGrath (file photo) Sam Boal/

Talks on new public service pay agreement to start this week

The Public Service Stability Agreement expires at the end of the year.

THE MINISTER FOR Public Expenditure and Reform has invited public service unions and staff associations to formal negotiations on a new pay agreement via the Workplace Relations Commission.

The Public Service Stability Agreement has been in place since January 2018 and expires on 31 December 2020.

Minister Michael McGrath said “an opportunity now exists to intensify talks on an appropriate successor”.

“These will be difficult discussions against a very challenging backdrop. 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,” McGrath said today.

He added that there is “scope for all parties to engage constructively towards an agreement that benefits everyone, the citizens and businesses who rely on essential public services and the staff who work so hard to provide them”.

Talks will begin later this week at the Workplace Relations Commission. All meetings will comply with relevant public health advice, the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform said in a statement.

The Public Services Committee (PSC) of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) met this morning in anticipation of an invitation to formal talks.

The committee, which represents all ICTU-affiliated unions with members working in the civil and public service, decided that it would accept the invitation.

A statement released after the meeting noted that the committee heard a report on progress in exploratory talks, which have been underway between the PSC’s officers and senior Department of Public Expenditure and Reform officials, “with the aim of establishing whether there is a basis for formal talks”.

Last week, PSC Chair Kevin Callinan said the engagements with the department had “intensified significantly”.

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