Tuesday 22 August 2017

No 'big asks' in pay talks, insist Howlin officials

Brendan Howlin said any deal must be sustainable
Brendan Howlin said any deal must be sustainable

Niall O'Connor and Emma Jane Hade

The Government has promised no "big asks" in the form of changes to the employment conditions of 300,000 public servants as it sets out its stall in the public sector pay talks.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin's officials will present a draft text to trade unions today - but will not make any offer of a spending pot available for pay restoration.

The text will be the "working document" that guides the pay talks. Sources on both sides say the talks could be completed next month in the absence of any major breakdown.

At yesterday's talks in Dublin, union negotiators sought a series of concessions surrounding areas such as working hours and overtime payments which had been impacted by the Haddington Road Agreement.

"There are things in Haddington Road that we view as problematic and quite frankly, we want them changed," said one union source.

And separate sources said there was strong agreement that the deeply unpopular pension levy must act as the "vehicle" in the pay side of the discussions.

Irish Independent

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