Public Sector Pay Risen By 3.2%

Figures from the CSO have unexpectedly revealed that gross average weekly earnings in the public sector have risen by 3.2% for the year ended in June.

However, the figures released today are for gross earnings, which do not account for the impact of the pension levy or income levy.

The figures also show that for the first time the numbers employed in the public sector have seen an annual decrease of 3,300.

There was also some bad news for member of the Gardaí. Average weekly earnings for An Garda Síochána, inclusive of overtime fell by 3.1% from €1,247.74 to €1,208.50 per week. However, their weekly earnings excluding overtime rose by 0.6% from €1,093.16 to €1,099.25 for the same period.

The percentage rise is sure to add fuel to the current raging debate over possible upcoming public sector pay cuts mooted for the next budget in December.

On Monday, the IMPACT trade union voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in the event of public sector pay cuts in the next budget by an 86% majority during a national ballot.

The news came following an abrupt end to a meeting between the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on the National Economic Recovery Deal on the same day.

The major unions including IMPACT, SIPTU and the ICTU are all now united on tackling the imposition of public sector pay cuts with what will be national strike action across myriad sectors.

The upcoming budget in December is expected to be the toughest in the history of the state as the Fianna Fail government faces down an unprecedented deficit in the budget and a slippery foothold in the world's slowly recovering markets.

Public sector pay is envisaged to take a major hit in order to drive down private sector pay, following advice from a number of government think tanks. The controversial McCarthy Report, which also advised slashing pay in the public sector as well as child benefit, is also expected to play a major role in the upcoming budget.


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