Public Sector Talks – We Need Real Pay Rises

Talks about a new public sector pay deal for 385,000 workers are about to. start.

Building Momentum runs out on 31 December, so a new deal is likely for 2024.

Last year union leaders let down their members by accepting a deal that represented a pay cut.

Public sector workers got an increase of 3.5% while inflation was much higher. In other words, workers took a pay cut.

So far, the union leaders have held back on setting any target figure for pay rises in 2024.

But if we assume that inflation will run at least at 3% then workers need a pay rise of between 7% and 10% to compensate for the previous pay cut.

Instead of talking about what pay rises workers need, the union leaders talk about the removal of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Sector.

This is a measure that allows the Dáil to unilaterally set wages (or wage cuts) in the public sector.

But it should have been removed long ago as the economic crash was 15 years ago.

On top of that many workers in the public sector are still working extra hours for free. Known as Croke Park hours, these particularly affect teachers and others.

The talks about a new deal will be led off from the union side by Forsa, INMO, INTO and SIPTU.

This is a union alliance that sets itself up against the leaders of UNITE who have promised to bring about a more fighting union.

The reality is that many public sector workers have lost faith in the ability of the unions to stand up for them.

It is vital that 2024 does not see another sell-out of their aspirations.