Formal talks on public sector pay are set to get underway next week as the increasing cost of living continues to bite. The average negative impact on workers’ pockets equates to €1,300 according to the ESRI, and reports indicate that inflation is set to continue its upward trajectory for some time to come.

Last year, public sector workers received a 1% salary increase and are due to receive a further 1% increase in October under the current public sector pay agreement. However, in March this year, unions triggered the review clause within the agreement due to the soaring cost of living.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath said that, following exploratory talks, there is a basis to proceed with formal pay negotiations. However, while recognising there is uncertainty around the global economy, any new pay agreement must be affordable to the State.

Our research found that just over half (54%) of employers have or will increase salaries in 2022 by an average of 5.3%.

Unions have not yet outlined what percentage increase they are looking for but noted that their focus is on the difference between inflation now and where it was when the current deal was agreed. New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that inflation is at its highest in nearly 40 years.