Union 'will not be fobbed off' as it plans pay claim for public servants
Published 30/06/2014 | 02:30
The union representing 10,000 mid-ranking public servants has warned it will lodge a pay claim next year "if current economic trends continue".
In a message to members, the Public Service Executive Union (PSEU) said it would not be "fobbed off" if the public finances get back on track next year.
But it says any such claim can only arise if the Government achieves the requirement for exchequer borrowing to fall below 3pc of GDP.
Unions have indicated they will seek refunds of a pay cut and pension levy enforced in 2009 and 2010.
They will also seek restoration of pay cuts for those earning over €65,000 under the Haddington Road deal.
The PSEU said the message of pay restoration for public servants as opposed to "populist tax cuts" at its annual conference was "conveyed successfully and in forceful terms" in the media.
"Unfortunately, despite the production of fact sheets for members for use for the purpose, the reports back from the canvassers in the recent elections suggest that the issue of public service pay and conditions did not feature as a major consideration," it said.
"If, as seems likely, the public finances are back below a 3pc of GDP borrowing target next year and, as a result, there is some scope for Government to ease constraints, it is vital that the message is conveyed clearly that public servants will not accept being 'fobbed off'."
The union said a series of meetings were being held with members around the country over the next year to seek their views on pay restoration.
However, general secretary Tom Geraghty said trying to build a consensus on the issue "is not helped" by the fact that senior officials must engage with 20 different unions.
In a message on Public Service Pay in the union newsletter, he said individual unions "have particular needs, wishes and hopes".
Mr Geraghty said the Haddington Road process had illustrated the difficulty with the "fragmented nature of union organisation".
He said the Irish Congress of Trade Unions was trying to tackle this by coming up with a new draft constitution.