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Minister McGrath welcomes strong endorsement by public service unions of extension to Building Momentum pay agreement

  • Over 370,000 full time equivalent public servants to benefit from pay increases including back dating of 3% award to February 2022
  • Further flat rate increase of €750 for lower paid public servants in 2023
  • Pay parity for the majority of retired public servants retained for duration of the Agreement


The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Michael McGrath TD has today welcomed the announcement from the Public Service Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions that all of the affiliated unions taking part in the ballot voted in favour of the proposals to extend the current Building Momentum public service pay agreement to the end of 2023. 


There are currently over 370,000 Full-Time equivalent public servants who will benefit from pay increases under the agreement commencing with the back dating of a 3% award to February 2022.


In addition, the majority of retired public servants will also benefit from the terms of the deal following a decision by Minister McGrath to maintain pay parity with current public servants.


Minister McGrath commented 


“I am very pleased to see the strong endorsement across the full spectrum of public service unions for the changes to the pay deal which we agreed back in September. A very wide range of public servants will benefit from these increases including over 42,000 nursing and midwifery staff, 12,000 doctors, consultants and surgeons, 71,000 teachers, 18,000 Special Needs Assistants and 14,000 Gardaí . 


“All of us depend on the work that is undertaken by public servants.  Some we see in our daily lives while many more work in the background carrying out tasks which are vital to the well-being of society.  In engaging with public service unions and representative associations our overwhelming motivation was to agree terms which would reflect the very real impact that inflation was having on the living standards of public service workers while at the same time underpinning the overall stability of the public finances. I believe we have achieved that balance and given much needed certainty in the delivery of services during these very difficult times.”


“I will be bringing a memo to Government next week to advise my colleagues of the endorsement of the extension to the pay deal. This will allow for the various circulars to be prepared for local HR units facilitating the adjustment of pay scales.”  


“I am pleased that the terms give a greater percentage benefit to lower paid staff. For example, an employee on a salary of €25,000 at the start of this year will receive an increase of 11.2% over two years while someone on a salary of €35,000 would benefit from a rise of 9.7% across 2022 and 2023.” 


It is important to that the benefits of the agreement should also be viewed in the context of the substantial cost of living measures including tax cuts that the government brought forward in the budget.


“It is also very welcome that the vast majority of  persons in receipt of a public service pension will benefit from the increases planned over the lifetime of the agreement and will also receive the back dated element of the 3% increase this year. Many public service retirees are on modest pensions with the average being just over €20,000 per annum and the increases will be of considerable help to them in meeting their household bills.”


"The public service has demonstrated its ability to support the people of Ireland in difficult circumstances, and the continued delivery of quality public services will be vital in the current climate. This extension to the agreement means that we retain in the future the key reform enabling provisions from the Covid period and I believe this will lead to a more efficient and responsive public service.”



Note for Editors


The proposed adjustments to the current Building Momentum pay agreement are: 


  1. An increase in annualised basic salaries for public servants of 3% backdated to 2 February 2022.
  2. An increase in annualised basic salaries for public servants of 2% on 1 March 2023. 
  3. An increase in annualised basic salaries for public servants of 1.5% or €750, whichever is greater, on 1 October 2023. 


Benefits Table

Benefit from previous Building Momentum Deal

Benefit from Building Momentum Review 

Total Benefit

Headline Benefits




Benefit for Lower Paid (€27,500)





Overview of Public Service Numbers at end-June 2022

The total number of public service employees on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis at end-Quarter 2 2022 was 370,060. This figure includes Local Authority staff (31,239) and Oireachtas staff (662) who are not Exchequer funded. 



Q2 2022





Civil     Service


Local Authorities