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Public sector pay talks to resume at WRC

Public sector pay talks are set to resume this afternoon at the Workplace Relations Commission after adjourning before Christmas without agreement.

Unions have expressed concern and disappointment at the slow pace of the negotiations and have threatened industrial action if a new pay deal is not agreed.

The existing public sector pay agreement, Building Momentum, expired at the end of last year.

Public sector trade unions have criticised the slow pace of the talks and are due to meet on Thursday to finalise the wording of industrial action ballots unless a new pay deal is agreed.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has said he wants a new pay agreement, but added that he will not be influenced by the threat of industrial action.

Last month, as part of the pay talks, the Government agreed to repeal emergency industrial relations legislation introduced during the financial crisis.

Unions had asked for the removal of the legislation claiming it had made it too difficult for individual sectors and grades to have issues addressed outside of the scope of existing pay deals.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said that its aim is to reach a mutually acceptable outcome that is fair, reasonable and affordable for public servants and taxpayers.

If a new agreement is reached, it will mean a pay increase for 385,000 public servants including nurses, doctors, gardaí and teachers.

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