Two teaching unions have voted to back the revised public sector pay deal.
Primary-level union the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) – the country's largest teachers' union – said 80 per cent of its members voted to accept it, while 85 per cent of the membership of the post-primary Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) backed the deal.
The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) is still holding its ballot and the results are expected by the end of next week.
A review of the Building Momentum deal was triggered by unions in response to rising inflation.
After intensive negotiations between the Government and unions, brokered by the Workplace Relations Commission, a staggered pay increase of 6.5 per cent was recommended over the course of 18 months.
— INTO (Irish National Teachers' Organisation) (@INTOnews) September 30, 2022
The revised package will see a pay increase of 3 per cent backdated to February 2nd, 2022; a further 2 per cent from March 1st, 2023; and an additional 1.5 per cent or €750, whichever is the greater, from October 1st, 2023.
The minimum cash sum incorporated into the third of the proposed rises will ensure those on lower incomes benefit more from the overall deal.
The 6.5 per cent increase, which will cost €1.6 billion, is in addition to the increase of 1 per cent or €500 – whichever is greater – due in October 2022 under the terms of the existing public sector pay agreement, Building Momentum.
The pay increase compares to an 8.6 per cent rise in prices in the State in the year to September, according to the EU’s harmonised index of consumer prices released on Friday.
Announcing the result of its electronic ballot on Friday, INTO said 18,795 members (80 per cent) of voters supported the agreement, and 4,783 (20 per cent) voted against it. This represented a turnout of 57 per cent.
The TUI said 85 per cent of its members voted to accept the proposal, with 15 per cent rejecting it, and that it would bring the result to a meeting of the ICTU Public Services Committee next Friday.
— Teachers' Union Ire. (@TUIunion) September 30, 2022
INTO general secretary John Boyle said: “Like all workers, our members have faced huge increases in the cost of living. It was absolutely the right decision for unions to collectively trigger the review clause of Building Momentum.
“After prolonged and intensive negotiations, we secured an agreement that our members have welcomed as it will provide significant salary increases and pay certainty.
“Additionally, the non-pay measures announced on budget day will assist in alleviating some of the financial pressures being experienced by members and their families.
“We will continue to carefully monitor the cost of living in the next six months.
“We will be determined to ensure that any successor agreement negotiated after Easter addresses outstanding union claims and further improves the pay and conditions of our members, who always give their utmost to provide the highest quality learning experiences in our primary and special schools.”
The Government had argued it was a fair deal, with Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath saying it “does take us to the limit” of what can be achieved in Budget 2023.