Press Release

SIPTU says public service workers will need pay increases to offset rising living costs

Date Released: 13 February 2022

SIPTU representatives have said that the level of pay increases necessary to compensate for rising living costs will be a key topic of discussion at upcoming Annual General Meetings of union members in the public service.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, said: “Inflation and the rising cost of living will be a major topic of consideration in a series of upcoming AGMs of our members in the Health Service, Local Government, Education and State Sectors. These discussions, and the positions expressed by delegates at the SIPTU Biennial Delegate Conference in late March, will inform the position taken by SIPTU representatives in the negotiations for a new public service pay deal, with the current pay agreement, Building Momentum, expiring later this year.

“Our members voted for Building Momentum in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainties of its impact on the public finances. In light of this, members accepted modest pay increases and further restoration of cuts imposed in 2013. However, members are now frustrated that these modest increases have been wiped out by the current rate of inflation. This is an acute situation because it is now widely accepted that inflation will remain high for a longer period than initially projected.”

He added: “These developments, as well as the fact that the pandemic did not do any structural damage to the public finances and economic projections showing positive rates of growth will be considered by members as we prepare for pay negotiations.  

“Our members in the public service appreciate the value of a collective pay agreement. However, the recent experience of the impact of the rising cost of living on their pay will be a significant factor for them when considering any set of proposals that may emerge from a talks process.” 

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