Gardaí had largest public sector rise in weekly earnings during Q3 of 2016

New figures from CSO also show education sector had highest hourly wage

Members of the Garda enjoyed the largest rise in average weekly earnings of all public sector workers during the third quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

While average weekly earnings increased by 1 per cent across the public sector, rising from €907.00 to €915.92, gardaí recorded the largest rise of 5 per cent from €1,191.01 to €1,251.09 in the year to the third quarter.

The Government faces the prospect of Garda strikes again in the new year unless two ballots now under way result in the acceptance of a pay deal formulated by the Labour Court.


The Garda Representative Association (GRA) and Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) have just begun a postal ballot of their members.


The CSO figures show four of the seven public sector sub-sectors had annual increases in average weekly earnings. The civil service sub-sector showed a decrease in average weekly earnings in the year of 1 per cent from €898.61 to €889.47.

In terms of hourly earnings, the education sector recorded the highest average amount of €37.70 in the third quarter, but also showing the lowest hours worked of 24.6 hours.

Over the last five years however, the sector has had the largest percentage decrease in average hourly earnings, falling 12.4 per cent.

The Garda had the next highest earnings with average hourly earnings of €29.01, while staff there also worked the longest hours of 43.1 hours. The defence sector recorded the lowest average hourly earnings in the year to Q3 of €22.74.

Overall, average weekly earnings across both the private and public sectors were €701.87. This represents average earnings in the Irish economy, although there are large variations in earnings across its sectors.

The highest average weekly earnings of €1,060.96 were in the information and communication sector, followed by the financial, insurance and real estate sector at €990.70.


The lowest average weekly earnings were €338.09 in the accommodation and food services sector followed by €464.93 in the arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities sector.

Average weekly earnings increased in 11 of the 13 sectors in the private sector compared with last year. The largest percentage increase was 5.7 per cent in the construction sector, where average weekly earnings rose from €699.76 to €739.92.

Average weekly earnings rose by 4.9 per cent in both the professional, scientific and technical activities and the accommodation and food services sectors, rising from €796.14 to €835.22 and €322.31 to €338.09 respectively.

Average weekly earnings in the private sector showed an increase of 1.8 per cent from €630.88 to €642.50 in the year to the third quarter. In the five years up to this period, average weekly earnings rose by 1.9 per cent from €688.58 in Q3 2011 to €701.87.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter