Government set to improve public sector wage offer as industrial action looms

The government is set to improve its €1.2bn wage offer in talks on a review of the public sector wage deal, it has been confirmed, as SIPTU prepares to vote its members on a move protest.

Speaking in Ireland on Tuesday morning on RTe, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath, pictured, said the government would not chase inflation and ‘we will also need the unions to meet with us’

Minister McGrath said the government is prepared to be as flexible “as possible”.

“And there is a will on the part of the government to improve the offer that exists,” he said.

His comments come after SIPTU said its members across the civil service would begin a consultation exercise ahead of the polls for industrial action over the government’s failure to conclude an acceptable review of the pay provisions of the deal. public service “Building Momentum”.

The consultation will involve trade unionists and activists from the health, local government, education and state sectors in the coming weeks.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary John King has said that by refusing to re-engage with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to deal with the escalating cost of living, the government is breaching the terms of the current agreement.

“The Congressional Utilities Committee invoked the review clause provisions on March 11, 2022 when inflation was at 5.6% and it was clear that the modest terms of the agreement, reached in January 2021, were completely eroded by the dramatic increase in the cost of living for workers. With inflation now at 9.1%, the government’s failure to recommit to the WRC is no longer tenable,” Mr King said.

“Talks at the WRC were postponed on June 17 when the government claimed it needed time to reflect. With the Dáil currently suspended until early or mid-September, it is clear that it will not is not ready to engage in serious discussions about the cost of living crisis. Under these circumstances, we are left with no choice but to vote for our members in order to protect their standard of living,” said Mr. King.

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