Public service pay will get a boost from this week under the terms of the Building Momentum review.
The latest 2% pay adjustment for local authority staff came into effect on Wednesday (1st March). The union-negotiated adjustment applies to staff across the civil and public service.
The review of the agreement, which was negotiated by Fórsa and other unions in last year, expires at the end of 2023. Fórsa general secretary and ICTU president Kevin Callinan will lead unions in talks on a successor agreement, which are due to commence in the coming months.
As unions prepare for talks, the latest pay figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that average weekly earnings in the Irish economy rose by 4.2% last year.
That figure includes the 3% increase, backdated to February 2022, under the Building Momentum review, and the CSO noted that a disparity in pay increases over the course of the year, between public and private sector, is likely to reflect the once-off impact of backdated pay increases.
Meanwhile, the Morgan McKinley 2023 Irish Salary Guide expects wage growth to ease in 2023, claiming that recent wage increases have become “unsustainable.”
Responding to the report's findings, Kevin said wage increases had not led to diminutions in company profits, and that this was backed up by the CSO’s figures, which suggest that upward pay trends are not accelerating on the back of wider inflationary pressures.
He also warned that many workers are continuing to struggle with the high cost-of-living, as the February inflation rate saw an increase to 8%, up from 7.5% in January, attributed chiefly to food and transport costs.
Kevin added: "As the value of Government supports, such as the energy credit, are withdrawn this will have to be reflected in wage bargaining in both the public and private sectors."
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