Securing future starts at public sector pay talks
Few of us will quibble with public service workers getting a pay rise. It has been a long and tough road since the 300,000 staff got their last increase in September 2008. And they have definitely contributed to the country's economic recovery.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin long ago publicly conceded that the two, and in some cases three, pay cuts imposed on public service workers were under the so-called Fempi emergency legislation. It is clear that Mr Howlin would have difficulty proving in any legal case that the country was still in deep recession.
So, he has wisely made a virtue of necessity, and staved off the prospect of losing a likely court challenge from the public service unions that would end with an abrupt €2bn pay bill for court-ordered increases. All of that brings us to talks which are set to begin in earnest today and take at least several weeks to complete.