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Thursday 22 August 2019

Public servants demand 6pc pay rise if extra hours stay


Kevin Callinan: The incoming Fórsa chief said talks are under way
Kevin Callinan: The incoming Fórsa chief said talks are under way

Anne-Marie Walsh

Public servants will lodge a claim for a 6pc pay rise if the Government fails to abolish extra working hours imposed during the crash.

Kevin Callinan, the incoming general secretary of Fórsa, the biggest union for State workers, has signalled a batch of claims will be made during an upcoming review of the current wage deal.

They will include:

  • A claim for an across-the-board wage increase to keep pace with the cost of living;
  • A demand for a "process" to deal with claims made by individual groups of staff in order to reach agreements.

Mr Callinan also indicated that some of the pay demands should be included in the next budget.

He said exploratory talks were under way in the wake of the recent nurses' settlement that was offered to halt strikes, which had "stretched" the existing pay deal. The union chief will become the most senior union negotiator when he takes to the helm of the union later this summer.

"If the hours aren't reversed it's inevitable, it seems to me, there will be a productivity claim," he said. "The hours are worth 6pc in rough figures, in and around 6pc, on top."

The Government decision to lengthen the working week means public servants work around two extra hours a week.

Mr Callinan said there are a number of options in terms of giving increases, including bringing forward a pay rise already due, as occurred after gardaí got a special deal in 2016. Otherwise an upcoming pay rise could be topped up.

Earlier, he disputed a Government estimate that the cost of reversing the hours would be €600m.

Irish Independent

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