Irish employers strike partnership deal with unions

Business and employers’ groups in Ireland have ratified a partnership agreement with trade unions, designed to protect employment standards and improve pay.

The new deal – Towards 2016 – provides for a 10% pay rise for workers over 27 months, a rise in the national minimum wage, and tougher penalties for employers breaking labour law.

An Office of the Director of Employment Rights’ Compliance will be set up to oversee the agreement.

The deal primarily affects public sector bodies and large companies, and includes a ‘no strike’ policy on issues covered by the agreement.

Irish TUC general secretary David Begg said the deal was “the single most important piece of social legislation ever seen” in Ireland. “Across the globe, good working conditions and standards are under threat or have been eroded. Here in Ireland, we have reversed that trend,” he said.

Turlough O’Sullivan, director general of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, said: “Business and employers have agreed to the programme on the grounds that it will deliver stable economic development, industrial peace, real reform in the public sector, increased productivity, and practical measures to assist the manufacturing industry.”

The deal also sets out a public service modernisation package.

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