Press Release

SIPTU members seek review of Public Service Agreement over rise in living costs

Date Released: 11 March 2022

SIPTU members want the review clause of the Public Service Agreement, Building Momentum, invoked due to the spike in the rate of inflation and the associated rise in the cost of living, according to SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King.

“Following consultation with union representatives across the health services, local government, education and other state sectors, at meetings which were held to consider progress under the current agreement, it is clear that our members want an urgent review of Building Momentum,” John King said. 

He continued: “In voting for the agreement, SIPTU members accepted modest pay increases and some further progress on the restoration of austerity cutbacks imposed in 2013. These increases have now been totally eroded by the current spike in the rate of inflation and associated rises in the cost of living, which are likely to continue for a longer period of time than initially projected. 

“They also endorsed Building Momentum at the height of the unprecedented public health emergency caused by Covid-19 pandemic, amid all the uncertainties that crisis created for the public finances, but which are now largely and thankfully behind us.

“The Public Service Agreement provides for a review where it is evident that the assumptions underlying its terms and proposals have significantly altered. The current rate of inflation at 5.6 per cent and the dramatic price rises in fuel, electricity, food and accommodation, along with other living costs, certainly meet the threshold for the review clause to be invoked.

“Given the positive projections for economic growth and the public finances as we emerge from the pandemic, and notwithstanding the destabilising effect of the war in Ukraine, our members in the public service are seeking early discussions with the Government on the erosion of their living standards.    

“Any discussions during such a review and on a new public service agreement, which were due to commence early next year, will have to take full account of the rate of inflation and the escalating costs of living.”

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