Following a meeting of the private sector committee it has emerged private sector unions are to seek a 4% pay rise for their members next year.
The chairperson of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions private sector committee John Douglas explains:” the private sector of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions covers the whole private sector we met today and based on the economic evidence that we have, and we believe that it is fair and reasonable for 2017 to lodge claims right across the private sector of 4% per annum”.
The union says the claim would see full-time workers receive a minimum increase of €1,000 next year.
Mr Douglas said following the economic crash workers had lost jobs, pay and working hours and saw their conditions of employment deteriorate in areas such as pensions and sick pay schemes.
Mr Douglas said unions believed pay claims of 4 per cent in 2017 in the private sector were “fully justified” given the stagnation in wages since 2010 and recent economic indications. “The economy is beginning to grow again. The economic indicators would suggest that inflation will be running at in or around two per cent, worker productivity will be over one and a half per cent so we feel fully justified right across the economy in seeking pay increases in the region of four per cent.”
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he “stood by Lansdowne Road”. Speaking in the Dail Mr Kenny stressed that “the Government will respond collectively in setting out an agenda, structure and strategy which we can best manage the circumstances we now find ourselves in as a country and not a situation where it becomes sector versus sector versus sector”.
Mr Douglas said unions would enter into reasonable discussions with employers who said they had special circumstances and could not afford to pay increases of four per cent. However he said in cases where employers could afford to pay but refused to do so, union members would have to make decisions around that.