Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure IE-2021-1/1851 – Updated – measures in Ireland
|Country||Ireland , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 January 2021 – 31 December 2023|
|Context||COVID-19, Digital Transformation|
|Type||Bipartite collective agreements|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
|Author||Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||12 April 2021 (updated 07 July 2023)|
A new public service agreement was agreed between public service unions and management in December 2020. It was ratified in February 2021 by a majority of trade unions on the public service committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, following ballots of their members.
The "Building Momentum" Agreement follows on from a number of public services agreements concluded in the last decade and is an extension of the framework of public service agreements. The previous agreement, the Public Service Stability Agreement (2018 - 2020) which is due to expired on December 31st 2020.
The negotiation of this agreement "took place against a difficult economic and fiscal backdrop, in a landscape dominated by the twin challenges of Brexit and the COVID-19 public health emergency". It acknowledges the considerable economic fallout from COVID-19 and the unprecedented investment in health and other public services, social protection measures and business supports.
The objectives of the Agreement are:
The following pay increases will apply over the period of the Agreement:
The Agreement reflects a commitment by the parties to harness the momentum for change to meet the immediate challenges that present in the lifetime of the Agreement, and to prepare for future challenges.
The agreement covers all workers in the public service.
Workers in essential services
||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners jointly
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||Informed|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Public service unions negotiated the agreement which was then balloted on by members of individual unions.
The team of four ICTU negotiators said that Building Momentum: A New Public Sector Agreement represented a positive short-term package, negotiated against a difficult background, to build on the momentum of recent pay restoration and public service flexibility and service quality.
They said the package, which would run from 1st January 2021 until 31st December 2022 if ratified, was substantially weighted towards lower-income civil and public servants, and had achieved solid progress on the three priorities set by the PSC at the outset of the talks. These were (1) a mechanism to address issues outstanding from the Haddington Road agreement, (2) a separate mechanism to address sectoral issues, and (3) a realistic and acceptable approach to pay.
Eurofound (2021), New public service agreement concluded against background of pandemic, measure IE-2021-1/1851 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/IE-2021-1_1851.html
30 January 2023
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.