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Sunday 4 December 2016

Trade Unions demand pay hikes for private sector workers

Published 15/11/2016 | 14:45

Ministers urged Paschal Donohoe, the Public Expenditure Minister, to stand firm against an ultimatum issued by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor (pictured). Photo: Tony Gavin
Ministers urged Paschal Donohoe, the Public Expenditure Minister, to stand firm against an ultimatum issued by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor (pictured). Photo: Tony Gavin

TRADE Unions are demanding pay increases of at least four per cent next year for private sector workers.

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The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) today said the claims will be lodged from January on behalf of 300,000 workers.

ICTU official John Douglas said the expectation is that workers would see their pay increase by €1,000.

He said the 4pc figure being sought is based on financial data received from the Department of Finance.

“We believe these demands are fair, reasonable and will stand up to scrutiny,” Mr Douglas told Independent.ie.

The news comes as the Cabinet today met to discuss the ongoing row over public sector pay.

Ministers urged Paschal Donohoe, the Public Expenditure Minister, to stand firm against an ultimatum issued by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor has said that he will authorise sectoral organisers in SIPTU to ballot for industrial action unless new pay talks are announced by Thursday.

Meanwhile, trade union Unite is seeking a restoration of the ‘Croke Park’ hours and equal pay in advance of the Lansdowne Road Agreement re-negotiation.

Speaking before Wednesday's meeting of the Congress Public Services Committee, Unite’s Richie Browne said that in the absence of early negotiation, it would consider a return to sectoral bargaining.

“It is clear that the Lansdowne Road Agreement is not delivering for workers and must be replaced as soon as possible.  To that end, we are calling on the Government to commit to early re-negotiation and, as a token of good faith, to commit now to the principle of equal pay for equal work, and to restoration of the Croke Park hours.

“If the Government does not commit to an early re-negotiation of the Lansdowne Road agreement, Unite will need to consider whether our members best interests might not be served by a return to sectoral bargaining.”

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