Public pay bonanza
Civil servants set to get €1,000 salary hike from new year
PUBLIC servants are set to gain almost €1,000 from January, with the promise of a fresh round of pay hikes in 2017, as Labour seeks to buy their support in the coming general election.
Phasing out the deeply unpopular pension levy, and pay increases for lower-paid workers, have been central to the pay talks between unions and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin’s department.
Labour is anxious to win over support from public sector workers with an election looming in less than a year’s time.
As talks continued late last night, union sources said they expected workers to see a boost in their incomes to the tune of €870 to €1,000 next year.
This will come as part of a two-pronged approach – reductions to the pension levy from January, and pay hikes the following year.
The Government has pledged to ring-fence at least €300m in October’s Budget to slash the public sector pension levy.
Sources involved in the talks said it could see all incomes below €30,000 being exempt from the levy, which has been a source of major anger among public servants.
And the Government is also set to promise a fresh round of pay increases in 2017, aimed at low and middle-income earners.
Negotiations between trade unions and officials from Mr Howlin’s department have been ongoing for more than a fortnight.
A senior Government source insisted, however, that public servants will be expected to engage in reform.