Trade union chief says budget could have impact on pay talks ballot

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has advised that balloting take place before talks resume on October 7th
Trade union chief says budget could have impact on pay talks ballot

Vivienne Clarke

The president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), Kevin Callinan, said balloting on the public service pay agreement reached at the WRC on Tuesday will take place after Budget 2023 which may have an impact on the outcome.

It was very important that the Government clarify details of measures that will be introduced to counter the cost of living crisis, he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

Trade unions will now be informing their members of the details of the pay agreement and Ictu has advised that balloting then take place before talks resume on October 7th.

The agreement was “the best deal that could be achieved from the negotiations” he said.

Mr Callinan added that he had been “really struck” by the extent to which individual workers were suffering because of increases in the cost of living.

The public will want to hear the extent of improved welfare supports and what cost of living measures are going to be “concretised” so it was important that the Government clarify these details.

When asked about claims that unions had wanted wages to “chase inflation”, Mr Callinan said there was a need to “scotch” that “myth”. That had not been the case for decades at a time when there was a much greater share of wealth among workers.

There still was the situation where “profiteers” were not doing fair deals when it came to wages for their staff. There were huge profits in sectors like energy and hotels, but staff were not getting a fair deal, he said.

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