SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, has called for pay rises for workers across the private and public sectors as the economy makes a faster than expected recovery.
In response to the employers’ organisation, IBEC, stating that the majority of its members will implement pay rises averaging 2% over the coming year, O’Connor, told RTE News on Friday (2nd January), SIPTU hopes the rises would be greater and more widespread.
He said: “We hope to do better. We would hope that more workers would be covered and we hope that we will do better than 2% given the substantial increase in productivity since 2009”.
O’Connor has also called for early talks between unions and the Government on pay restoration for public sector workers.
O’Connor said that the faster than expected recovery should see the Government enter negotiations well in advance of the Haddington Road Agreement expiring next year.
He said: “We’re now expecting to record growth this year of something between 4.5-5.5%, depending on which commentator you’re listening to. That’s considerably in advance of where everybody expected we would be.So if the recovery is running a year ahead, then we should be looking at rolling back the pay cuts across the economy”.
SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser Paul Bell supports the calls for pay restoration and told SIPTUhealth.ie that income recovery for health workers has always been at the heart of the Better Health Care, Better Jobs campaign.
“Our members have been in the firing line over the last number of painful years of recession. They have had their pay cut, they have been doing the job of two or three workers and been under constant pressure to deliver a quality standard of care to the most vulnerable people in our society.
Our members in the health service deserve decent jobs and a secure livelihood to support themselves and their families and they should be first in the queue now that the economy is turning the corner”