Private sector pay pact will help avoid strikes
PRIVATE sector employers and unions have come to an arrangement to avoid an industrial relations free-for-all.
Their new protocol on handling pay claims aims to avoid strikes and keep jobs following the collapse of social partnership and the absence of a national wage agreement.
The protocol was finally agreed by business group IBEC and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions yesterday following months of talks.
Since IBEC and the Government abandoned the wage agreement, the parties had been trying to develop an alternative industrial relations strategy.
Despite the business group's official stance, some of its members paid the 6pc pay rise under the last pay deal.
The new protocol aims to guide unions and employers when handling future pay claims.
The parties aim to use state mediation bodies including the Labour Court to resolve disputes.
The parties are also committed to ensuring their members "do not engage in strikes, lockouts or other forms of industrial action" when the parties are acting in accordance with the arrangement.
However, unions are unlikely to accept the business group's repeated call last night that its members should not entertain claims for pay increases this year.