Matt Cooper: We could be in for the return of the old public versus private sector pay debate
The government would be unwise to take the unions for granted, but while it can afford to pay higher public sector rates now, the money may run out in the future
Kevin Callinan, president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and general secretary of the 80,000-member Fórsa public sector worker union, seems to be a reasonable man and not a sabre-rattler.
However, he may wonder if he and his colleagues were too reasonable last year when they agreed a pay deal for public sector workers with government worth just 6.5 per cent over two years. That did not keep up with inflation.
Even with the ...