Unions call for retention of PPF pay awards
A special conference hosted by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) in Dublin today has heard calls for the retention of pay awards made under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The General Secretary of the IMPACT trade union group, Mr Peter McLoone, told the conference pay rises agreed under the PPF were "reasonable and deserved" and that trade unions would not accept any reduction of these gains in any future agreement.
Mr McLoone noted that last year saw fewer industrial disputes than any year since 1970 but emphasised the growth in inflation, which he said was due to profiteering among service providers, as a contributory factor to Ireland's current position as one of the most expensive countries in the euro zone.
He acknowledged the benefits of the current agreement, but both IMPACT and the ICTU have highlighted the growing disparity in pay between male and female workers and the lack of access to the workforce by Travellers, older people and those with disabilities.
Both unions have stated a reduction by a third in the current pay differential of 15 per cent between men and women as an important part of any future deal.
But the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), has warned the process of national agreements has "run out of steam".
Calling for an end to what it called "wage inflation" IBEC is pushing for a return to competitiveness and has urged the Government to reduce spending and to maintain a low-taxation environment.
It also wants the Government to act on improving Roads, Communications, Public Transport and Waste Management and for unions to co-operate with changes as needed.