Talks are set to resume at the Workplace Relations Commission on Monday Leah Farrell/
Pay deal

Unions call on Government to 'significantly improve' public sector pay offer

Public sector pay talks between the Government and unions are set to resume on Monday.

THE IRISH CONGRESS of Trade Unions (ICTU) have called on the Government to “significantly improve” their public sector pay offer ahead of talks restarting next week.

In a statement, ICTU said that they were ready to engage positively with the Government when Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) talks return on Monday, following a two month hiatus.

However, ICTU said that the Government would need to “significantly improve” their offer to prevent trade unions from balloting their members for industrial action next month.

Kevin Callinan, who leads ICTUs negotiating team, said that when the talks were previously suspended, the Government had not accounted for the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Callinan said that continuing inflation will make it difficult for unions to reach an agreement that can be put to their members, who are struggling with cost-of-living increases.

“Increased and sustained inflation during that period has not made it easier to reach an outcome that unions can credibly put to ballots of workers struggling with soaring increases in the cost of fuel, food, housing, childcare, and many other essentials, which were underpinned by today’s announcement of 35-39% additional hikes in home heating bills this winter,” Callinan said, citing the SSE Airtricity electricity and gas price hike.

“We are ready to be flexible in next week’s discussions.

“Minister McGrath has indicated that the Government will make an improved offer on Monday, and we look forward to finding out if it will be enough to move towards an outcome that we can credibly put to workers in ballots,” Callinan added.

While talks are set to take place, unions are currently preparing industrial action ballots which will begin at the end of August as part of a campaign for better pay terms.

ICTU said it would not be making any further comment before negotiations resume on Monday.

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