Staff in public service to seek further improvements in terms and conditions

Half of all private companies plan wage rises this year

The average pay increase anticipated for this year is about 2.8 per cent.  Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The average pay increase anticipated for this year is about 2.8 per cent. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

 

Staff in the public service will seek further improvements in their terms and conditions, union leaders have signalled.

A major conference on industrial relations on Thursday heard that the Lansdowne Road agreement, which was negotiated last year and which was supposed to govern pay in the public service until 2018, was already “creaking at the edges”.

The accord, which began to be implemented in January, seeks to roll back some of the cuts to terms and conditions imposed on public service employees following the economic crash.

However, union leaders said public servants would watch carefully a new study which indicated that companies in the private sector in many cases may grant increases of 2.8 percent on average this year.

Tom Geraghty, general secretary of the Public Service Executive Union said if economic growth rates of 7 percent was sustained, it was beyond doubt that the Government could not justify continuing with financial emergency legislation that was used to cut the wages of his members.

“If the existing high levels of growth continues, you can absolutely take it for granted that we will be looking to speed up the process of restoration. “

Derek Mullen of the Civil Public and Services Union said while the ink was barely dry on the Lansdowne Road deal and implementation had only begun. It was beginning to freak at the edges.

He said the new private sector pay forecasts would “tell a tale in respect of the demands erector toto face from our members in the course of 2017.

“It is going to be difficult to keep people on message in terms of the content of the Lansdowne Road agreement. People see it as a start of pay restoration but are asking why they will see the main course.”

Half of all private sector companies are planning to increase pay for staff this year, according to the new survey.

The study carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the specialist publication Industrial Relations News also says that almost one qaurter of firms are planning to maintain rates at existing levels.

The suvey of 584 companies was carried out in January and found that none were planning pay cuts this year.

It found that larger employers with more than 250 workers were more likely to be looking at pay rises this year.

The survey found that in the services sector staff in companies in recruitment/human resources, communications,hospitality, information technology and education were likely to see rises above this average.

In manufacturing, the survey suggested that workers in the food,drink and agribusiness manufacturing/processing could receive increases of more than 4 per cent.

The survey suggests that more than 81 per cent of companies are planning some sort of bonus payment this year to at least part of its workforce. A total of 43 per cent of companies said bonuses would be paid to all staff.

The study involved companies in both the services and manufacturing sectors.