Unions to seek pay rise if economy improves
PUBLIC sector unions have warned the Government they will lodge a claim for a pay rise on behalf of the country's 290,000 state employees if the economy improves.
The letter, from the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, was sent in the wake of the negotiation of the proposed new Croke Park deal. The agreement aims to cut the State payroll by €1bn over three years.
In the letter, the union leadership say they feel it is important to put their intentions on the record in case there was an improvement in the public finances during the lifetime of the deal.
They say they are concerned that by "not stating our intentions with clarity, we could be accused of acting in bad faith".
"To avoid this, we are putting on record that, should the State's finances improve to a degree that would lead us to believe that the Exchequer could cope, we may lodge a pay claim on behalf of public servants," they say.
Sources said the letter is an insurance clause for public servants. They said it is a counter to a clause in the proposed deal that allows the Government to call a meeting with unions to discuss the implications for the deal if its commitments "must be revisited". This could happen if the State's finances went even more "pear-shaped", they said.