31/07/2008

Prospects Of Agreement Look Good For Pay Deal

As the negotiations on the new Irish national pay deal draw to a conclusion, prospects are believed to be good for an agreement before the weekend.

Unions, employers and Government officials are meeting again on Thursday to resolve the outstanding difficulties in the deal to set the pay for the states government workers.

The deal is thought to see a 10% increase over the next two years.

In a recent interview, the Tánaiste Mary Coughlan said competitiveness was to be the background of any decisions made, suggesting workers may not get the deal they are looking for.

Despite the optimism about the prospects for a deal, reports suggest there are significant differences between employers and unions over the scale of wage rises to be paid to workers.

Ms Coghlan said: "I'm not saying I have no good news for unions and it’s more for employers. I’m saying we want a fair balance between both sides and that we may have to have flexibilities on both sides to ensure that we get through the impasse."

"I think we have to reflect very much on the vulnerables – those who are working in low-paid income jobs where they have huge difficulties and they are not in a position to meet some of the challenges of utility bills and shopping. Therefore it’s my job to make sure that people see value for money."

(DW)(BMcC)

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