Unions and Government to return to WRC to consider path forward after public sector pay talks stalled

Meetings could lead to immediate resumption of negotiation if officials believe progress is possible

Government and union officials will return to the Workplace Relations Commission on Thursday to provide updates on their respective positions regarding talks about a new public sector pay deal.

Negotiations on a deal stalled two weeks ago when Government officials made an offer Paschal Donohoe said was worth 8½ per cent over 2½ years with less well paid workers getting up to 12 per cent.

Representatives of the 19 unions with members to be covered by any agreement sought 12½ per cent with just short of half of it to be paid over three instalments during 2024, a significant frontloading of the arrangement when compared to what the employer side had offered.

The unions threatened to ballot on industrial action if talks aimed at concluding a deal did not restart swiftly but have not moved to do so in the two weeks since the sides last met.


Mr Donohoe said he was disappointed what he regarded as having been a fair offer was not accepted but did not rule out improving on a package he said was worth €2.9 billion.

The two sides will update WRC officials on Thursday morning on whether they feel the process can be progressed and how. It is possible that the meetings could lead to an immediate resumption of the more substantive talks or an arrangement to formally reengage over the coming days - but it will require the facilitators to believe there is scope to move forward.

Some 385,000 civil and public servants will be covered by any deal along with thousands of retired workers.

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Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times