Public sector workers to get pay rise of 10.25% over 2½ years under €3.6bn deal

First salary increase to take effect his month with those on lowest incomes set to receive up to 17.3% by 2027, says Donohoe

A new pay deal for 385,000 civil and public sector workers has been agreed between union and Government representatives that will see pay rises of 10.25 per cent over 2½ years.

Representatives of the two sides continued to work on the documentation at the offices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) until around 9am on Friday when a settlement was reached on the key issue of pay.

Welcoming the agreement, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said it was made up of pay increases totalling 9.25 per cent, as well as a provision for a local bargaining mechanism equivalent to 1 per cent of pay.

“The pay measures in the agreement are weighted towards those on lower incomes. Those on lowest incomes will receive up to 17.3 per cent over the lifetime of this agreement inclusive of the local bargaining provision,” Mr Donohoe said.


The total cost of the agreement amounts to €3.6 billion spread over 4 Budget years – 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027.

The main features of the agreement are:


• 2.25% salary increase or €1,125, whichever is greater, on January 1st 2024.

• 1% salary increase on June 1st 2024.

• 1% salary increase or €500, whichever is greater, on October 1st 2024.


• 2% salary increase or €1,000, whichever is greater, on March 1st 2025.

• 1% salary increase on August 1st 2025.


• 1% salary increase or €500, whichever is greater, on February 1st 2026.

• 1% salary increase on June 1st 2026.

Local Bargaining

• A local bargaining instalment, equivalent to 1% of the basic pay cost, on September 1st 2025.

Mr Donohoe said the 4.25 per cent in increases most workers would receive this year was “in line with what we expect private sector pay increases to be or only slightly ahead of that,” but that the larger increases lower paid workers would receive will have a substantial impact on them over time.

The deal came after almost 22 hours of talks at the WRC, negotiations that started on Thursday at 11am.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has welcomed the agreement. Speaking in Galway on Friday, he said he was particularly pleased that lower paid workers in the public service would benefit more and said that the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe would furnish the cabinet with details next week.

“We want our nurses, our teachers, our gardaí, our doctors, our Defence Forces personnel and local authority workers to be paid better and in return there are agreements around reforms and efficiencies which I think are very important.

Fórsa’s Kevin Callinan, who led the union side’s negotiating team, said the process had been difficult and had not yielded all he had hoped “but we have succeeded in improving the last Government offer on January11th. We’ve got more money and we’ve got it sooner.”

Another member of the union side team, John King of Siptu, also described the negotiation as “difficult” but said the union side “did not believe we left anything on the table”.

Mr Donohoe said: “I believe the new local bargaining process in this proposed agreement is an innovative and positive development that will support ongoing industrial peace. This process will allow grades, groups and categories of public servants to progress proposals or address issues while also providing cost certainty to the Government.”

This mechanism will provide an avenue by which employers and grades, groups and categories of public servants can address issues involving changes in structures, work practices or other conditions of service.

Four union officials - Mr Callinan, Mr King, Phil Ní Sheaghdha of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and John Boyle of the Irish National Teachers Organisation - left the WRC to meet the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Public Services Committee, which includes representatives of all 19 affiliated unions with members in the public sector to brief them on the detail of the deal. The process of informing ordinary members will follow, with balloting likely to take place over the coming weeks.

Unions that are not affiliated to Ictu also started to brief their members on the implications of the deal on Friday morning.

Speaking as she left the WRC, Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors general secretary Antoinette Cunningham said it had been “a difficult and challenging” day and night, in part because the officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform negotiating on behalf of the Government had not fully understood the issues specifically affecting members of An Garda Síochána “which are very different to other sectors”.

Despite that, she said, “we welcome the fact that we have agreed a set of proposals we can take back to our national executive later this morning”.

The agreement will impact on a huge cross section of Irish workers, from healthcare professionals and others working for the HSE to administrative staff across the civil service, teachers as well as members of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces.

When the two sides last met earlier this month the Government side had offered 8.5 per cent with increases of up to 12 per cent for those in lower paid grades while the unions had sought 12.5 per cent, also with guaranteed minimums for the least well off of their members.

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Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times