Friday 28 April 2017

Donohoe says new pay boost for public sector works is no capitulation to unions

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal Donohoe has claimed he did not capitulate to unions after he announced he was bringing forward a €1,000 salary hike for public sector workers.

The payment was due to come into place in September but is being brought forward to April to appease the demands of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) after gardai received a €50m pay deal following a Labour Court ruling.

The new deal will see public sector workers, whose pay has been increased twice over the last two years, pocket around an extra €400 this year.

However, Mr Donohoe claimed he did not “capitulate” to union demands and said there would have been “consequences” for the economy if he had not agreed to the pay deal.

The minister said the latest public sector pay bonanza will cost around €120m and will be found through “efficiencies and savings” across all Government departments.

Mr Donohoe could not say categorically that public services would not be affected by the payment. However, he said he was determined to ensure services would not be impacted by the pay increase.

He said if he had not agreed to bring the pay increase forward it would have posed “grave challenges” for the Government this year.

The payment only relates to public sector workers earning less than €65,000. Gardai who received pay increase following a Labour Relations Court ruling will not benefit from the payment.

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