Ireland

Minister welcomes ‘industrial peace’ after public pay agreement

The pay proposals are estimated to be worth up to 17.3% for lower-paid workers.

Michael McGrath said the new agreement will bring necessary stability to the public sector
Michael McGrath Michael McGrath said the new agreement will bring necessary stability to the public sector (Niall Carson/PA)

A newly-ratified public service pay deal will bring “industrial peace” to the sector, the finance minister has said.

Michael McGrath said the new agreement will bring necessary stability to the public sector.

He said: “In the world in which we live where there is so much uncertainty – having a stable public service where services can be provided on a day-to-day basis to the people who need them is of paramount importance.

“This will ensure industrial peace over the period ahead and allow the Government to work with the public service in introducing a whole variety of reforms in the delivery of public services.”



It comes after the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) ratified a new public service pay agreement on Monday, backdated from January 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026.

The agreement with Government sees pay improvements worth 9.25% – with a further 1% available for local bargaining – for public service workers.

The deal followed a lengthy and challenging negotiation between ICTU’s public services committee (PSC) officers and Government representatives which began in November.

PSC chair and Forsa general-secretary Kevin Callinan said the new agreement marks the end of an era of industrial relations conducted under emergency legislation, which was introduced during the financial crash in 2009.

The pay proposals are estimated to be worth up to 17.3% for lower-paid workers.

Unions will not be able to lodge any “cost-increasing” claims for improvements in pay or conditions during the lifetime of the agreement.

Mr Callinan said: “This agreement also provides specific provisions for local bargaining, which will give trade unions the scope to negotiate up to an additional 3% of pay costs, inclusive of allowances, for particular grades, groups or categories of employee.

“In both respects we’ve established a unique pay agreement while ensuring the maximisation of benefits for public servants in the early phase, with 4.25% payable this year.”

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe also welcomed the agreement, which he said gave a “a balanced approach” to public service pay.

In a statement, he said: “This agreement recognises the importance to reward the hard work and dedication of the public service which plays a vital role in our society.”

The agreement applies to almost 400,000 workers and will cost 3.6 billion euro.