Sunday 11 December 2016

€300m offer to restore pay 'will not be enough'

Niall O'Connor and Emma Jane Hade

Published 21/05/2015 | 02:30

A spokeswoman for Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin described yesterday’s talks as 'constructive'
A spokeswoman for Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin described yesterday’s talks as 'constructive'

Union officials in public-sector pay talks have strongly indicated that the €250m-€300m on offer for pay restoration will not be enough.

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Sources close to the talks predict the overall sum offered by the Government is likely to fall short of union demands.

Both Government and union figures have declined to publicly outline the amount of money being sought for pay hikes.

But privately both sides believe the issue will prove to be a bone of contention.

To date, the talks have been extremely cordial and have focused on the initial text proposed by the Government which will guide the process forward.

A spokeswoman for Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin described yesterday's talks as "constructive" and said they focused partially on issues relating to the current Haddington Road Agreement.

The Irish Independent reported yesterday that some unions have called for elements of the Haddington Agreement - surrounding the likes of overtime, flexitime and other issues - to be addressed.

The overall text is due to be considered further by unions tomorrow.

The text contains no offer as such in terms of an overall sum being proposed by the Government for pay restoration.

Privately, union sources have said any such offer in the region of €250m-€300m for pay restoration will fall short.

One source directly involved in the talks mooted the prospect of "calling Brendan Howlin's bluff" and seeking a sum of money closer to €500m.

Irish Independent

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